Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he doesn't plan on making any changes to his coaching staff right now, but it's difficult to see how run game coordinator Juan Castillo returns to the team for a second season.
The historic struggles in the run game and the reported friction with players will make it difficult for Harbaugh to keep Castillo on staff. The numbers alone are a strong argument to go in a different direction:
Rushing yards per game: 83.0, 30th in NFL and worst in Ravens history
Rushing yards per carry: 3.1, last in NFL and worst in Ravens history
Rushing touchdowns: Seven, tied for 28th in NFL and tied for second-worst in Ravens history (they had five in 2005)
This is a massive drop-off from 2012 when the Ravens ranked 11th in the league in rushing yards per game (118.8) and 12th in yards per carry (4.3). While the offensive line and running backs dealt with injuries, it's hard to absolve Castillo's influence in his first season with the Ravens.
I'm not saying Castillo was the biggest problem in the Ravens' running game this season. But, as a coach, it was his job to fix it and he didn't.
"Juan Castillo is a very accountable guy," Harbaugh said. "Juan Castillo will be the first guy to say put it all on his shoulders. There are probably a lot of people out there willing to do that."
Some of those "people" are in the Ravens' locker room, if the reports are correct. In October, offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie pointed the finger at Castillo after he was traded to the Miami Dolphins, saying the Ravens didn't stick with last season's scheme because "Juan wants it done his way."
Also, after a loss to Green Bay in October, a source told The Baltimore Sun that players were so unhappy with Castillo's blocking scheme that they went to Harbaugh and said Castillo had "lost influence" in the offensive line room.
Harbaugh said this week that coaches on the Ravens' staff could leave for other jobs elsewhere if it turns out to be the "best fit." Obviously, the Ravens haven't been a good fit for Castillo.
Despite the problems this season, Castillo should have no problem catching on with another team. Before joining the Ravens prior to the Super Bowl, Castillo was offered a job as the Kansas City Chiefs' assistant head coach and running game coordinator.
If Castillo was hired elsewhere, Harbaugh wouldn't have to fire a close friend, like he did with Cam Cameron a season ago.
"I believe in our coaches. That goes for Juan Castillo; it goes for all of our guys," Harbaugh said. "I think he’s a great coach, but I think all of our guys are great coaches. But, we’ve got to coach better. We’ve got to find a way to use our personnel better. All those things have to happen.”