Ravens defensive line coach Joe Cullen hired as Jaguars defensive coordinator
The Baltimore Ravens will be bringing back coordinators in all three phases for a second straight year but subtractions from the coaching staff are still being made.
While continuity at the play-caller positions will endure, their assistant coach ranks on defense lost another member on Thursday when defensive line coach Joe Cullen was reportedly hired as the defensive coordinator of the Jacksonville Jaguars according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley and Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Cullen joined the Ravens’ staff in 2015 and was put in charge of the defensive line after the passing of the late Clarence Brooks in September of that year from esophageal cancer.
He is renowned and respected for his energetic and technically sound coaching style and Baltimore’s defensive line has flourished during his five seasons at the helm.
He is the third Baltimore position coach to depart for a play-calling job elsewhere, joining inside linebackers coach and Mike Macdonald and defensive backs coach Jesse Minter who went to the collegiate level to call defensive plays at power-five programs (Michigan and Vanderbilt).
Cullen will be headed back to the sunshine state where he served as the Jaguars defensive line coach from 2010-2012 to join first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
While Meyer has an impressive resume as a head coach college coach, he has never held a position at the NFL level until now so it’s a smart move to hire and surround himself with those that have and are upcoming in the profession.
The Jaguars are coming off a 1-15 season where they lost every game after the season opener, currently hold the No.1 overall pick, and are in the midst of a rebuild. However, they do have a lot of talented young defensive pieces with plenty of draft capital and cap space to acquire more.
He will inherit players like Josh Allen who is a versatile edge defender who can play in either a 3-4, 4-3 or hybrid scheme and has recorded 13 sacks and 34 quarterback hits, and was voted to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2019.
Veteran inside linebacker Joe Schobert is arguably the most underrated player at his position and fifth-year pro Myles Jack is one of the most athletic linebackers in the league. Both players recorded over 100 total tackles, at least one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble, and multiple pass deflections in 2020.
Their 2020 first-round picks—cornerback CJ Henderson and edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson—showed flashes as rookies and are expected to take even bigger steps in 2021.
Jacksonville also showed interest in Ravens Defensive Pass Coordinator Chris Hewitt and interviewed former Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator and interim head coach Raheem Morris before deciding to go with Cullen.