www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-harbaugh-noncommital-about-coaching-staff-changes-20131231,0,227314.story

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Harbaugh noncommital about potential staff changes

Head coach praises Castillo despite run game woes

By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

1:16 PM EST, December 31, 2013

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Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal about any potential changes on his coaching staff today, acknowledging that nothing immediate is planned but failing to rule out moves in the future.

“I don't want to get into all that right now because I just don't think that would be fair,” Harbaugh said during his end-of-season news conference at the Under Armour Performance Center. “I don't want to say that I'm never going to do anything or I'm always going to do something. I don't plan on doing anything right now. And you guys are going to say, 'Oh, there's an opening, he's going to do something.' ...  I don't want to make an oath that I really don't know the answer to for the future.”

Harbaugh did praise his staff, which he said is already busy preparing for next season.

“I think every one of our coaches is a great coach,” he said. “You don't coach at this level and succeed at this level and stick around at this level if you're not a great coach, and every one of those guys is. What turns to out to be the best fit for guys going forward, opportunities that guys have or whatever, we'll see how that shakes out probably the next two, three weeks. But I'm happy with all of our guys and I think all of our guys are very quality people and hard-working people.”

The status of offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and run game coordinator Juan Castillo has come into question after the offense struggled mightily during the Ravens’ 8-8 season.

The Ravens finished 29th overall in total offense, averaging just 307.4 yards per game. Quarterback Joe Flacco set a franchise record with 22 interceptions, the second highest total in the NFL. The running game averaged 83 yards per game, ranking 30th in the NFL. The Ravens’ 1,328 rushing yards were the lowest in franchise story, significantly falling under the previous low of 1,589 yards in 1997.

Those numbers have brought criticism on Castillo, whose status on the staff appears to be the most tenuous of any of the Ravens’ coaches. Castillo, who was brought on as a consultant during the Ravens’ Super Bowl run last year, is coaching under a lucrative three-year deal.  

“I guarantee one thing if you talk to any of our coaches, and Juan Castillo is a very accountable guy. Juan Castillo will be the first guy to say, ‘put it all on his shoulders,’” Harbaugh said. “There are probably a lot of people out there willing to do that. … I believe in our coaches. That goes for Juan Castillo, it goes for all of our guys. I think he's a great coach, but I think all of our guys are great coaches. But we've got to coach better. We've got to find a way to use our personnel better. We've got to get better.”

There are currently six head coaching vacancies in the NFL, which should lead to plenty of upheaval on staffs throughout the league. Harbaugh acknowledged that several of his assistants could be asked to interview elsewhere.

“There may or may not be some more things happening as the rest of the week goes on, and I’m sure some of our coaches will be a part of that as far as opportunities go to move up and move on, and pursue career opportunities,” Harbaugh said. “We’re proud of that. I think we’ve had a lot of success here and the fact that we’re not pushing deep into the playoffs will probably give some of our coaches opportunities to do that. Right now, all of our coaches are here, they’re all working. They’re all doing everything they can to wrap the season up and push forward into building our team for next year and also to the draft and our evaluations on that. I don’t have anything to announce as far as coaches moving on or anything like that. But in the next few days or in the next week, there may be some things along those lines. We’ll just kind of have to see how that goes.”