While it is true that the Baltimore Ravens can be considered a young franchise in the context of NFL history, they have had eight defensive coordinators in history and half of them went on to take on a head coach position following their job in Baltimore.
The Ravens might be close to batting above .500 considering how impressively 2023 Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald has dealt with the Ravens D and how he seems to know every other trick when it comes to stopping opposing offenses.
Entering their bye week, the Ravens rank second spot in points per game allowed and total yards per game allowed, as well as leading the NFL in the sacking department with 47 through Week 12.
Under Macdonald's guidance, the team has kept intact its oft-used hybrid 3–4 front, something that has always been part of the Ravens' DNA. Macdonald is considered the utmost professional worker in the league, knows how to improve their players (ask the million backups-turned-superstars this season), and has the skills and work ethic to make things work no matter what.
Most recently, football insider Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated added fuel to the Macdonald-for-HC rumors in one of his weekly columns.
"Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald should start to get a little notoriety and maybe some heat as a head coaching candidate, with how Baltimore’s defense is coming together. Macdonald’s unit has held three of its last six opponents to 10 or fewer points, and those three games were against pretty good groups (Lions, Seahawks and Chargers). Now, of course, it’s going to be tough for any defensive coach to land a job this year, with a backlog of qualified candidates on that side of the ball and some owners set on hiring offensive coaches instead. But Macdonald should at least be in that mix."- Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated
"Mike Macdonald should start to get a little notoriety," wrote Breer, "and maybe some heat as a head coaching candidate, with how Baltimore’s defense is coming together."
Breer noted, however, that there is a competitive landscape for such positions, also pointing out that most franchises tend to prefer offensive-minded candidates and former Offensive Coordinators.
At 36, Macdonald truly is a rising star in the league in a coaching role. He's gone from coaching as an intern in Baltimore starting in 2014 to joining the Michigan Wolverines D in the NCAA, and finally returning to Baltimore last year with this being his second season with the Ravens.
After putting together a great regular season, it's highly improbable the Ravens part ways with Head Coach John Harbaugh as soon as next season, but it's fair to consider the possibility of the front office running out of patience with their current coach if they Flock cannot win in the playoffs.
In the event Baltimore can retain Macdonald while growing tired of Harbaugh, the expectation should be for the current DC to be elevated to the vacant HC job. That, for now, will have to wait. But even then, the Ravens must do everything in their power to keep Macdonald happen and in tow for the near future.