It was no secret that the Baltimore Ravens‘ run game was deficient across the board, but did running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery deserve to be canned because of it?
Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce were shells of their former selves this season, and it was partially due to their inability to gain yards on the ground consistently. However, the offensive line wasn’t offering much in support in terms of opening up holes as backs had to dance their way to short-yardage gains, if that.
A team that signed Vonta Leach to be a bull in the backfield switched over to a predominantly single-back offense, reducing his role from a full-time player to one who was lucky to see five or more snaps a game.
The main culprit of the running game woes would have to be run game coordinator Juan Castillo. Castillo has never been that successful of a head coach, but John Harbaugh was friends with him during his days in Philadelphia. Castillo changed what the Ravens did best and removed the power-running game to a zone-blocking scheme for personnel that clearly weren’t equipped to handle the wholesale change.
Baltimore lost their physical identity and it showed this season during their struggles, especially in short yardage situations. That isn’t entirely on the running backs, and it’s certainly not on their coach.