They say if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it. This may have been the Baltimore Ravens philosophy when they decided to keep offensive coordinator (OC), Cam Cameron on their roster next season. Cameron, who just completed his 4th season with the team, was awarded a contract extension and will remain the OC.
The Ravens reached the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, all with Cameron as their OC. They just completed an impressive 12-4 season, making it all the way to the AFC title game where they lost to the New England Patriots.
While the Ravens have never been an offensive powerhouse, a powerful defense is their thing, but aging players will be cause for alarm in the coming years and the Ravens will need to find a way to evolve their offense and put more points on the scoreboard.
That’s where Cameron comes into play (pun intended). Throughout his tenure as OC, he has been criticized for his vanilla and predictable play calling. While his play calling can be blah and QB Joe Flacco has had his share of ups and downs, the offense shined in a few games and boasted impressive wins including the 35-7 victory over AFC North rival the Pittsburgh Steelers and the win against the Arizona Cardinals, when the Ravens were down by 21 points at halftime and came back to win the game 30-27.
While it would be awesome if Cameron’s play calling resulted in high scoring wins on a regular basis, that isn’t going to happen and he must find ways to develop plays that will put the ball in the air and into the end zone. A powerful running game will only get you so far and the offense must take it to the next level to increase their chances of making it to the big game.
This week the Ravens added an important piece to their coaching staff by hiring former Indianapolis head coach Jim Caldwell to be the Ravens quarterback coach.
I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Cameron was staying put, while the defensive coaching staff has seen its share of personal changes, Cameron, along with head coach John Harbaugh, have been constants in the Ravens coaching staff and they work well together.
I agree that Cameron’s play calling can be lackluster and predictable, but more often than not, it gets the job done. A 12-4 record in a defense heavy division is hard to come and yet somehow Cameron’s mediocre offensive play calling got it done to win the AFC North.
The Ravens offense has greatly improved since Cameron came on board and Flacco became the starting QB and I believe that we will see more improvements in 2012. Unlike last season, there will be OTAs and a full training camp, giving Cameron (and Caldwell) more time to work with players and develop game plans for the regular season.
The Ravens aren’t destined to be an offensive powerhouse and Cameron doesn’t try to make them into something they are not. His play calling isn’t the best, but it is far from the worst and I know what to expect the Ravens take the field. At least with Cameron, I know that we stand a chance of reaching the playoffs; replacing him would have been a gamble, a bet that I’m not sure I’d want to make.