Jim Harbaugh: Mike Macdonald was next in line to be Ravens’ DC before Michigan hired him

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After the Ravens’ postseason ended, linebackers coach Mike Macdonald left to become defensive coordinator at Michigan. That meant Macdonald went from working for John Harbaugh to working for Jim Harbaugh.

Today Jim Harbaugh said that the primary reason he hired Macdonald was his brother’s recommendation — and that his brother thinks so highly of the 34-year-old Macdonald that he likely would have been the Ravens’ next defensive coordinator, whenever the 58-year-old Don “Wink” Martindale moves on.

“I hadn’t been around Mike a lot except the times I had been to Baltimore, visited there and talked some football,” Jim Harbaugh said. “My brother John was like, ‘Yeah, this is the guy I would hire. Probably would be our next defensive coordinator here in Baltimore after Wink.'”

Jim Harbaugh said John Harbaugh wouldn’t have been so supportive of losing Macdonald to any other coaching staff.

“This came from John,” Jim Harbaugh said. “I even asked him, ‘John, it’s pretty awesome you would recommend somebody you think so highly of that’s on your staff.’ He said, ‘Well, I really love Michigan football and I really love you, so I want to see you both be successful.'”

Coming off a 2-4 season at Michigan, Jim Harbaugh needs Macdonald to help him get the program turned around, or else Macdonald may be asking for a job on the Ravens’ staff again next year.