Patrick Queen was one of many Baltimore Ravens defenders to publicly react to the hiring of former Ravens assistant Mike Macdonald as the team’s next defensive coordinator.
Queen first tagged Macdonald in a tweet on January 26 after reports that the Ravens settled on the Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator as their top choice.
Then, after the team officially announced Macdonald’s hiring on January 27, Queen had a one-character response to the 34-year-old coach’s return to Baltimore.
Fellow Ravens linebackers Tyus Bowser and L.J. Fort also expressed their excitement over Macdonald taking the reins of Baltimore’s defense following the departure of Don “Wink” Martindale on January 21. Both players are currently recovering from major injuries suffered during a brutal 2021 season for the Ravens that saw stars like Lamar Jackson and Marlon Humphrey miss several games.
The warm reception from the trio of Ravens linebackers isn’t surprising considering that Macdonald was the linebackers coach in Baltimore from 2018-2020. His last season was a banner year for linebackers in Baltimore, with a fourth-year breakout from Bowser, a career-high 53 tackles from Fort and a successful rookie effort from Queen.
Two years later, Macdonald will return to lead a Ravens defense that has plenty of familiar faces but could be losing some big names this offseason. All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell is mulling retirement, and other veterans like Fort, Justin Houston, DeShon Elliott and Brandon Williams hitting free agency, though Fort’s response to Macdonald’s hiring indicates that he’s expecting to return to the Ravens in 2022.
Macdonald Becomes NFL’s Youngest DC
At just 34 years old, Macdonald becomes the youngest defensive coordinator in the NFL, taking the place of San Francisco 49ers DC Demeco Ryans, per the Ravens’ Ryan Mink.
But Macdonald was even under consideration to become Baltimore’s defensive coordinator in 2018 as a finalist for the job that ultimately went to Martindale, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. The Ravens were thought to be grooming Macdonald to succeed Martindale when his contract expired after the 2022 season, but Jim Harbaugh, the younger brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, offered Macdonald the defensive coordinator job at Michigan in January 2021.
After revitalizing the Wolverines defense and helping the younger Harbaugh secure his first career win over Ohio State, Macdonald now returns attempt a similar turnaround in Baltimore.
Though injuries to several key players, including cornerback Marcus Peters, were certainly a factor in the Ravens taking a step back defensively in 2021, it was clear in games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders that changes were needed.
Harbaugh’s Statement on New DC
John Harbaugh released a statement through the Ravens regarding Macdonald’s hiring:
Mike is one of us – a Raven through and through. During his initial seven seasons with us, it was evident that his leadership, intelligence and passion would earn him the opportunity to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL. Mike has continuously proven himself, including when he led one of the country’s best defenses at Michigan last year. He is a proven play-caller who knows our system well. He also fully understands the standard of playing defense in Baltimore.
Harbaugh is expected to take more questions about his new defensive coordinator at an end-of-season press conference on January 31. Macdonald have his introductory presser the following day, with general manager Eric DeCosta speaking to the media at the end of the week on February 4, per Zrebiec.