When Jim Caldwell took over as the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator in Week 15, some saw it as a temporary solution for the rest of the season. After a successful playoff run, the Ravens extended Caldwell's contract through next season while also adding former Philadelphia defensive coordinator Juan Castillo to the coaching staff, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
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Caldwell replaced former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on December 10 after Cameron was fired following Batlimore's 31-28 loss to Washington. When Caldwell took over, the Ravens were averaging 25.5 points per game. While they dropped to 22.3 points per game over the final regular season games, they have excelled in the playoffs. Baltimore is averaging 30.0 points per game over their three playoff games, the second-highest average in the postseason.
One of the biggest changes Caldwell has made is giving quarterback Joe Flacco more freedom, something the fifth-year quarterback has thrived with. Flacco finished the regular season with an 87.7 passer rating, but leads all quarterbacks with a 114.7 passer rating in the postseason. Flacco is yet to throw an interception in the postseason and is averaging 9.17 yards per attempt, a considerable increase over the 7.19 he averaged during the regular season.
Caldwell's decision to remain offensive coordinator next season doesn't come as a major surprise as all of the head coaching vacancies around the NFL have been filled. Caldwell wen't 26-22 in three seasons as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, but was fired after finishing 2-14 last season. Caldwell, who began this season as the Ravens' quarterback coach, said he does want to be a NFL head coach again.
"Anybody in this business would certainly like to get to the point where they reach the top of their profession," Caldwell said, according to CBS Baltimore. "They'd love to have an opportunity to be a head coach, and I'm no different."
While he did not interview for any of the coaching vacancies this offseason, another solid season with the Ravens next year could jump him back into the head coaching picture.
Castillo will join the Ravens as a consultant prior to the Super Bowl and will then stay on the Baltimore coaching staff next season as the run-game coordinator. The latest position with Baltimore is a jump back to the offensive side after Castillo spent two seasons as the Eagles' defensive coordinator.
Prior to being fired following Week 6, Castillo had served as the Eagles offensive line coach for 13 seasons. His entire NFL coaching career had been on the offensive side before former Philadelphia coach Andy Reid promoted him to defensive coordinator. The move came with mixed results and ultimately cost Castillo his job.
Before moving to defense, Castillo was one of the more well-regarded offensive line coaches in the NFL. His presence as the run-game coordinator could help boost a Ravens' rushing attack which ranked 11th in the NFL during the regular season.
Although his arrival may come at a surprising time, just two weeks before the Ravens play in the Super Bowl, Castillo should be familiar with the Ravens. According to the Baltimore Sun report, Castillo has been around the team and in attendance at games since being fired by Philadelphia.