Despite criticism Castillo will return, with new title

Despite criticism Castillo will return, with new title
January 8, 2014, 1:30 pm
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Harbaugh endorses Juan Castillo for next year amid criticism

Run game coordinator Juan Castillo broke the dead heat at center, naming Shipley the starter for the opening preseason game.

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

Juan Castillo will return to the Ravens coaching staff next season, but as the offensive line coach, not as run game coordinator, head coach John Harbaugh confirmed Wednesday. Harbaugh has been a steadfast supporter of Castillo, who has been under fire due to the Ravens’ struggles to run the football.

What this meant for Andy Moeller, who has held the title of offensive line coach, remained to be seen. The most likely scenario is that Moeller will not return. Castillo and Moeller worked together last season, but Castillo being the true offensive line coach and Moeller having the title created some awkwardness. Harbaugh hopes Castillo and the running game will have a smoother season in 2014, although Harbaugh realizes many will not agree with his decision to retain Castillo.

“I can understand why Juan is a lightning-rod right now, because of the way that was set up and structured,” Harbaugh said. “Then we go into the season and we have our worst year ever running the ball, and he’s got that title. That’s one 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.

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“Juan’s title is going to be the offensive line coach. The offensive coordinator is in charge of the offense. Then I’m on top of that, and I make all the final decisions.”

The Ravens’ coaching staff is clearly in a state of transition. Running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery was fired last week. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell is a candidate for head coaching jobs with the Lions, Redskins, and Titans.

If Caldwell gets one of those jobs, he may want to bring along some Ravens assistants. But the decision to keep Castillo has been made. That move will only become more popular if the Ravens' running game significantly improves next season.

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