The Baltimore Ravens, like many contending teams, have to spend the first few weeks of their offseason replacing their top assistant coaches after they were poached by teams looking to turn themselves around. The defensive staff was hit particularly hard this offseason.
Defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald was named head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and some of the Ravens' best position coaches found gainful employment elsewhere. Defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson is the new Tennessee Titans DC, while assistant head coach Anthony Weaver took over defensive coordinator responsibilities with the Miami Dolphins.
While Baltimore has had to replace some of their more important coaches in the past semi-regularly, it's tough for any team to lose the defensive coordinator, defensive line, and defensive back coach from a top-ranked unit in the span of a few weeks. To make up for those losses, Baltimore is investing heavily in one of John Harbaugh's top assistants.
The Ravens promoted secondary coach and pass game coordinator Chris Hewitt to assistant head coach, rewarding someone who has been under Harbaugh in Baltimore for 11 seasons. Weave is gone, but the Ravens may have a new rising star in this league under their watch.
Baltimore Ravens promote Chris Hewitt to AHC to replace Anthony Weaver
Hewitt has been with the Ravens since 2012, starting as a special teams coach and working his way over to the defensive side with an emphasis on defensive back play. Since 2015, Hewitt has held roles like a defensive back coach, pass defense coordinator, and pass game coordinator.
With names like Kyle Hamilton, Marlon Humphrey, and Geno Stone all serving as recent examples of Hewitt's exemplary skill in that area, the Ravens might be able to maintain a similar level of defensive excellence with Hewitt, who interviewed for the Jacksonville Jaguars' DC job this offseason, and new DC Zach Orr combining to replace Macdonald.
The pipeline from Ravens assistant head coach to NFL head coach has been quite fruitful. Rex Ryan held the position in 2008 before the New York Jets hired him, as did David Culley before his stint with the Houston Texans. In addition to Weaver, Jerry Rosburg and Greg Roman have held important coaching positions across the league in recent years.
The fact Baltimore lost so many quality defensive coaches, yet thought enough of Hewitt to entice him to stay with a promotion, says a lot about how skilled they believe he is. Losing Macdonald, Weaver, and Wilson all at once will hurt, but Hewitt's acumen will help minimize the sting.