More changes on horizon for Ravens offensive coaching staff
By By Aaron Wilson and The Baltimore Sun
Jan 27, 2014 at 10:10 PM
The Ravens aren't done overhauling their offensive coaching staff with further changes anticipated following a season where the offense struggled to regularly manufacture points and yards.
Now that the Ravens have hired offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and quarterbacks coach Rick Dennison, they still have other positions to fill.
"It's going to be in flux a little bit," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday during an introductory news conference for Kubiak and Dennison at team headquarters. "We have an opportunity now to hire some new coaches. This is going to be something that's probably going to create some change on our staff. We'll have to see how that goes in the next day or two."
Harbaugh reaffirmed that Juan Castillo, who no longer holds the title of run-game coordinator, will remain in place as offensive line coach. Castillo might be the only holdover as far as a primary offensive coach returning after a season where the Ravens finished 29th in total offense.
Veteran Ravens tight ends coach Wade Harman won't be retained and will be replaced by former Texans tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to two sources. Harman had been on the Ravens' staff since being hired in 1999 by former Ravens coach Brian Billick.
Pariani coached the Texans' tight ends for the past eight seasons as tight end Owen Daniels was named to two Pro Bowls. In 2012, the Texans' tight ends combined for 124 catches, 1,309 yards and a dozen touchdowns. During a previous stint coaching the Denver Broncos' tight ends, Pariani coached Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. Pariani has a reputation as a fiery competitor and is known as a hard-nosed, no-nonsense coach, according to sources.
Ravens wide receivers coach Jim Hostler is pondering his options after failing to land the offensive coordinator job. He remains on the staff for now, but his status could be changing.
Hostler was the lone internal candidate for the offensive coordinator position and is now contemplating whether to remain with a team where it doesn't look as if he'll have an opportunity to advance in the immediate future.
"I've been in contact with Jim every day," Harbaugh said. "That's what we'll work out in the next couple of days. This is something that we did. It's not like you make a lot of plans this way. Things kind of evolve, and you have a chance to figure things out together and see if you can fit. You see if it works for families and see what's best for everybody involved. Those are conversations we have to have in the next couple of hours, the next couple of days."
The Ravens could have vacancies to fill at running backs coach and receivers coach since former running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery parted ways with the team shortly after the season.
Among the potential candidates to fill those positions: former Texans running backs coach Chick Harris, former Washington Redskins and Broncos running backs coach Bobby Turner and former Texans wide receivers coach Larry Kirksey.
"We have to hire a wide receivers coach, potentially a running backs coach, potentially a tight ends coach," Harbaugh said. "Those are things that we may have to do. Guys are going to have other opportunities, and that's just the way it's going to go. So, we'll see how it shakes out."
Offensive line coach Andy Moeller remains on the Ravens' coaching staff but isn't expected to return. He has been looking for a new job and is being considered for the Cleveland Browns' offensive line opening.
Assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington, senior offensive assistant Craig Ver Steeg and offensive assistant Jay Harbaugh all remain on the staff.
The Ravens' offensive staff is expected to have a strong mix of former Kubiak assistants.
"The most important thing is that we put a good staff together," said Kubiak, who replaces Jim Caldwell two weeks after he was named the Detroit Lions' head coach. "It's not important that they're from Houston or have been with me before, those types of things. John has a great vision. When we talked at his home for numerous hours, I just really liked his vision for how he saw putting this staff together and what he wanted from each position.
"We're going to sit down now and figure out where we go from there and listen to how things are going to work out. There are a lot of great coaches in this league. Chemistry is a big thing, and I know John, it's very important to him. We'll make that work somehow."
NOTE: Senior defensive assistant Steve Spagnuolo is a potential candidate to fill the secondary coaching position that became vacant when Teryl Austin was hired as the Detroit Lions' defensive coordinator, according to league sources. Nothing has been finalized, though.