John Harbaugh: Juan Castillo is the Ravens offensive line coach in 2014

Juan Castillo will return as Baltimore's offensive line coach in 2014. - Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In a bit of a surprise twist, the Ravens will bring back Juan Castillo to the coaching staff next season.

Once the 2013 season concluded, it was widely assumed and expected that Juan Castillo would no longer be employed by the Baltimore Ravens.

Think again.

On Wednesday at the State of the Ravens press conference, head coach John Harbaugh announced that Castillo would return as the Ravens' offensive line coach in 2014. He was given the title of run-game coordinator this past year.

"I can understand why Juan is the lightning rod right now because of the structure," Harbaugh said. "Juan functioned as the lead offensive line coach. Going forward, our plan is to improve, to get better."

Harbaugh also seemed to indicate that Castillo's job was safe and that the rest of the offensive coaching staff is "in flux," which is something Ravens fans will certainly debate on throughout the offseason.

What I take away from that isn't necessarily that the rest of the offensive coaching staff will be fired or let go. It's likely simpler, that the Ravens do not expect Andy Moeller back for the 2014 season. It had to be a weird dynamic for an offensive line coach to suddenly have a run-game coordinator become his boss, as if he was suddenly demoted for no apparent reason.

If this move backfires, and the offensive line struggles again in 2014, Harbaugh, who took the blame for the offense's failures, will receive even more blame and scrutiny. This is certainly a risky move, considering the Ravens ran for a franchise low 1,328 yards in 2013.

But if the running game bounces back and the offensive line improves, Harbaugh will look like a genius for sticking with the man he hired last January.

For both of their sakes, Castillo better thank Harbaugh and follow it with a fine coaching job this upcoming season, with much better results than what everyone saw in 2013.


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