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Ravens' Harbaugh expects staff to stay intact

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens elevated quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell to offensive coordinator on Dec. 10 after firing Cam Cameron.

Now, the move has become a lasting one.

With the Ravens reaching the Super Bowl, coach John Harbaugh announced Monday afternoon that the former Indianapolis Colts head coach and quarterbacks coach has agreed to remain in place as the offensive coordinator going forward.

"He's really a solid football coach, first of all," Harbaugh said. "He's been around. He's coached both sides of the ball. He's been a head coach, he's done it all. He's mainly a really good guy."

The Ravens piled up 356 yards of total offense and 25 first downs during a 28-13 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.

And quarterback Joe Flacco has engineered a commanding postseason with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff games. Flacco hasn't committed a turnover since throwing an interception and losing a fumble Dec. 16 in the first half of a 34-17 loss to the Denver Broncos that marked Caldwell's first game as offensive coordinator and first NFL experience calling plays.

During the playoffs, the Ravens have averaged 425.3 yards and 30 points per contest.

"He's calling plays, so it has his stamp on it, his flavor on how he calls the game," six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk said. "We've had success. He's done a great job. Tough situation for him, too, coming in his first year here and then in the offense. It's not like we changed everything we were doing. He just kind of took the controls and obviously has done a nice job."

Meanwhile, the Ravens have hired well-respected former Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Juan Castillo as a consultant to help them prepare for their Super Bowl matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. Then, Castillo's title will become run-game coordinator.

Castillo was fired this season after an unsuccessful foray as the Eagles' defensive coordinator.

Harbaugh said he doesn't anticipate any defections from the coaching staff for next season.

"Our staff will stay intact next year, unless something changes, but all the guys that want to be here will be here," Harbaugh said. "To my knowledge, they all want to be back. I think that's a profound positive for our team with continuity."

NOTES

Emerging unscathed with no serious injuries sustained Sunday, the Ravens appear to be relatively healthy heading into the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Ravens reported no new injuries.

Left offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie was noticeably limping after the game, but didn't miss any time in the game and should be fine for the Ravens' pending matchup against the 49ers in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

"We got through very healthy, nothing major," Harbaugh said. "That should clear that up for the next two weeks."

Despite a bone bruise in his right knee, rookie running back Bernard Pierce averaged 5.8 yards per carry with 52 yards on nine runs.

"I think I played well," said Pierce, adding that he didn't aggravate the injury. "I had a couple nice runs, I had a couple nice blocks. I wanted to make sure I helped my team in any possible way I could. I was fine. I pushed through it, that's all that matters. And we're in the Super Bowl."
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