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Juan Castillo will return as Ravens' offensive line coach, John Harbaugh says

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh described his coaching staff as being "a little bit in flux right now."

However, he made clear that he expects Juan Castillo to be back for the 2014 season, just with a different title.

"Juan will be the offensive line coach next year," Harbaugh said at Wednesday’s “State of the Ravens” address. “As all this NFL coaching drama goes on, some of our guys are involved in that. We just have to see how it shakes out. But we’re going to build a great coaching staff next year."

Castillo’s status was considered tenuous after the Ravens had the least productive running game in franchise history. They finished 30th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (83.0) and last in yards per carry (3.1).

Castillo, who was hired before the season to be the Ravens’ run game coordinator, shouldered much of the blame but Harbaugh took accountability for putting him in a tough spot. While Castillo was technically the offensive line coach, both of last year’s coaches at that position – Andy Moeller and Todd Washington – remained on staff.  

“I can understand why Juan is a lightning rod right now because the way we set up the structure and then we go into the season and we have our worst ever year running the ball and he’s got that title,” Harbaugh said. “So, that’s on me. When we hired Juan, the idea was to add another great coach into our mix. Juan functioned as the lead offensive line coach last year. That was his job. The title was a way to have three great offensive line coaches in our mix right there. Andy had a big contribution last year. It was a little bit different than he had the year before. … We had three guys working together and I thought it was going to be a really good mix. I thought those guys did a really good job of coaching together. We didn’t get the result that we wanted to get but Juan was the offensive line coach and that’s his title going forward.”

What is unclear is what will happen with the rest of the coaching staff. The Ravens parted ways with six-year running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery last week. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is in Tennessee today interviewing for the Titans’ head-coaching job. It’s his third head-coaching interview, and there’s been no declaration from the Ravens that he will be back even if he doesn’t get one of the jobs.

Today’s announcement on Castillo also puts Moeller’s job firmly in jeopardy. However, the Ravens’ top decision-makers insist that no final decisions have been made, and Harbaugh’s staff will be the subject of conversations this weekend when team officials meet at owner Steve Bisciotti’s house in Florida.

Asked if he will have input on Harbaugh’s staff, Bisciotti said, “[General manager Ozzie Newsome], I think, has talked to John a lot about the coaches. I really will get into it maybe this weekend more when we’re in Florida. I never demand. I do suggest but right now, I haven’t suggested to John to revamp his coaching staff.”

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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