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Head Coach Search: 5 Things to Know About Ravens DC Mike Macdonald

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The Chargers on Saturday confirmed they have interviewed Mike Macdonald for their head coach position.

Macdonald is currently the Ravens Defensive Coordinator, a role he's held for the past two seasons.

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Here are five things to know about Macdonald:

1. Building the Baltimore defense

Macdonald's second season calling the plays for the Ravens has been even better than the first.

The 2022 season was his first as the defensive coordinator for Baltimore and the team finished eighth in the NFL in defensive DVOA.

But it went up another level this season.

The Ravens defense finished the regular season leading the league in points allowed per game (16.5), sacks (60) and takeaways (31), becoming the first team in NFL history to lead every category in a single season.

The advanced numbers were stellar, too. Baltimore finished seventh in success rate and third in EPA per play. By DVOA, the Ravens finished first in overall defense, first in pass defense and seventh in run defense this year.

Macdonald had the Ravens defense playing at an elite level, a big reason that Baltimore sits as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

"[Macdonald] is a young, bright star in our league, and just like the players are executing at a high level, so is he," Pro Bowl safety Kyle Hamilton said. "And we don't do that without him and all the other people on the staff."

2. Long history with the Ravens

Macdonald has deep ties to Baltimore.

The 36-year-old started his NFL coaching career as a coaching intern with the team back in 2014. He would go on to become a defensive assistant from 2015 to 2016, before being promoted to defensive backs coach in 2017.

In his lone season as the DBs coach, Macdonald helped the Ravens defense lead the NFL in interceptions (22) and takeaways (34). They had three shutout performances, which were the most since 2003.

The following three seasons would see Macdonald move to the linebacker group where he coached Pro Bowl linebackers Matthew Judon (2019-20) and C.J. Mosley (2018).

Baltimore would continue to boast an impressive defense throughout that time period and Macdonald was in the middle of it all.

The Chargers on Saturday confirmed they have interviewed Mike Macdonald for their head coach position.

3. Finding success at Michigan

Macdonald has been in Baltimore for the majority of his coaching career but his first opportunity to call the defensive plays was not with the Ravens.

He was named as the University of Michigan's defensive coordinator 2021 and help put together a special season for the Wolverines in his first time calling plays.

Michigan would make an appearance in the College Football Playoff in his only season there and the program also won the Big Ten Conference title for the first time since 2004.

Macdonald's defense being a big reason why.

The Wolverines ended the season with the No. 8 scoring defense (17.4 ppg) and finished the year ranked No. 3 in the country in yards allowed. Macdonald also helped Aidan Hutchinson set a Michigan school record with 14 sacks in a single season and become a Heisman finalist in 2021.

4. Starting in Georgia

Macdonald was not born in the state of Georgia, but went to high school there and later attended the University of Georgia.

He graduated summa cum laude with a finance degree from the Terry College of Business.

He joined the Georgia coaching staff as a graduate assistant in 2010, eventually moving up to become a defensive quality control assistant.

5. Getting his opportunity early

While he was a student at Georgia, Macdonald got his first experience with coaching at the high school level.

He began coaching high school football at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens from 2008 to 2009. Macdonald coached the linebackers and running backs and had success, even earning the staff's Coach of the Year award following his first season as a coach.

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