The shot heard round Raven Nation was announced by John Harbaugh during Wednesday’s annual “State of the Ravens” address: Juan Castillo will return to the Ravens as the offensive line coach in 2014.
Thats right Ravens fans – instead of cutting bait with Castillo, Harbaugh and the rest of the Ravens brass have doubled down on Juan, moving him from “run game coordinator” to offensive line coach.
“Juan will be the offensive line coach next year,” Harbaugh said, eliciting groans from the purple faithful. “The rest of [the coaching staff] is a little in flux right now.”
“I can understand why Juan is the lightning rod because of the title,” Harbaugh said when asked about Castillo seemingly being in charge of the Ravens’ franchise-worst rushing attack. “That’s on me.”
Point blank: the Ravens offensive line and run game was putrid in 2013. Between the injuries to both Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, the loss of Kelechi Osemele, Marshal Yanda playing hurt and the players not buying into the system, the results were horrendous.
The team however did allude to the fact they were not happy with the offensive line will find a way to improve either through free agency acquisition or the draft.
“I think we’ve got to get bigger on the interior of our offensive line,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged.
While the Ravens continue to praise the offensive line players, in all honestly outside of Yanda and Osemele they are back-ups at best. Re-signing Eugene Monroe certainly would help and bringing in a new center is vital for the system Castillo plans to run.
While it seems Harbaugh managed to convince Bisciotti and company the value of Juan Castillo, one has to wonder what happens six games into the 2014 season if there is no noticeable difference from the 2013 results.
The very slack that Harbaugh wanted so badly for Castillo was granted, and it could be exactly what ends up hanging the Ravens offense next season.
Follow me on Twitter @sportguyRSR