Ex-Ravens coach Montgomery: No hard feelings

Ex-Ravens coach Montgomery: No hard feelings
January 11, 2014, 9:15 pm
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Jan 6, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; General view of M&T Bank Stadium during the AFC Wild Card playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens.

(Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Wilbert Montgomery, let go last week as Ravens running backs coach, might appear to be one of the fall guys  for the Ravens poor offense this season, but he apparently has no hard feelings toward the organization he worked with for the past six years.

"It was a good six years in Baltimore," Montgomery told the Baltimore Sun. "It was a good run, but I understand why it's time for me to move on. I wish those guys well and hope they have a great season."

It's no big deal," he added. "I've been around for a long time, as a player and a coach. I'm OK. It doesn't bother me. I'll be fine."

Montgomery and the team parted ways on Jan. 3, with coach John Harbaugh saying in a statement that, " “Wilbert has decided to pursue other coaching and life opportunities."

It is widely believed he was dismissed after the Ravens run game struggled mightily this past season, ranking 30th in rushing yardage per game (83.0) and last in yardage per carry (3.1). Ray Rice had the worst season of his career, with 660 rushing yards on 214 carries.

Montgomery, who previously coached for the Rams and Lions before joining the Ravens staff in 2008, told the Sun he hopes to coach again next season.

As of now, Montgomery is the only coach who has left Harbaugh's staff, but more changes could be coming. Offensive line coach Andy Moeller could be elsewhere next season after Harbaugh announced last week that Juan Castillo, who held the title of run-game coordinator last season, would hold the title of offensive line coach next season. Castillo was the de facto offensive line coach last year, essentially demoting Moeller from the role he held the previous two seasons.

Also, offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell remains a candidate for head coaching jobs with the Lions and Titans. If he lands one of those jobs, it's possible he could offer promotions to members of the Ravens staff. And if he fails to land one of those jobs, it's unclear whether the Ravens will bring him back as offensive coordinator next season.

Meanwhile, in an annual rite of winter, Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta has drawn interest from another NFL franchise. Miami reportedly reached out to DeCosta to gauge interest in the Dolphins' GM job; as he's done frequently over the past few years, DeCosta declined to interview. DeCosta, who has been with the Ravens since their inaugural season, is viewed as the heir apparent to general manager Ozzie Newsome.