Ravens hire Rosburg to coach special teams

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens hired Jerry Rosburg as special teams coach Wednesday, a move that provides veteran leadership on a unit that is particularly meaningful to new head coach John Harbaugh.

Rosburg coached the Atlanta Falcons' special teams this season after spending the previous six years in the same capacity with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns ranked among the top 15 in punt return average, kickoff return average and net punting average in 2006 and led the NFL in special teams scoring the previous year.

Rosburg also was a college coach for 20 years, including the 1999-2000 seasons as Notre Dame's cornerbacks and special teams coach.

"We want to be a hard-hitting, fast, exciting, active special teams," Rosburg said. "By doing so, I think that it also spreads to the rest of the team. I think the special teams has an extremely important role in the personality and the character of the team."

Rosburg replaces Frank Gansz Jr., who was fired on Dec. 31 when the Ravens dismissed head coach Brian Billick and his entire staff. Rosburg joins offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, who was hired on Monday.

Harbaugh is one coach who can appreciate the importance of special teams play; he was in charge of the Philadelphia Eagles' special teams from 1998-2006. He also has a long-term relationship with Rosburg.

"Jerry and I go back 20 years at least, to Western Michigan and to Cincinnati," Harbaugh said. "We think the same way on special teams as coaches."

The Ravens also announced the return of four assistant coaches who served under Billick. Harbaugh welcomed back defensive backs coach Mark Carrier; tight ends coach Wade Harman; outside linebackers coach Mike Pettine; and Vic Fangio, special assistant to the head coach.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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