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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

It all comes back to Cam Cameron


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I don't like doing it. I prefer to defend our players and coaches to the end. I never called for Brian Billick to be fired. I maybe jumped on the Cavanaugh to be fired band wagon right at the very end. But this time I can't let it go. Cam Cameron must go. It all comes back to him.


I believe that we can be a very good team with Joe. I don't think he is going to be elite and I'm talking about elite players being those who break passing records and make players better around them. I think there are only 3 elite QBs in the NFL being Brady, Manning and Brees. Some are very close to entering that group mainly Rodgers. Then there is a group below that which Joe belongs to although be it near the bottom of that group at present. These guys can make all the throws and can win games when they have to but they can also manage games and not put their team in a position to lose. Some of them are better in areas than others but in general I see Joe being a member of this group.


That said, he is being hamstrung by Cam's offense. We don't have the O-Line to wait for our WRs to get 40 yards deep on most plays. Everytime Joe seems to set up to pass the pocket disintegrates and he is forced to dump it off to Rice or scramble around to give the WRs time to get separation.


Time to get separation? The WRs need help here. If they are running the same routes over and over again it's easy to cover and makes getting separation tough. Did the Ravens ever run a bunch formation making it hard for the other teams coverage unit to pick up. Did we ever have a 2 WR formation with the WRs on the same side. Where are the variations? Where was the imagination? Did we ever try to get our WRs in mismatches and then exploit those mismatches? These guys do need to work on their hands though. They dropped way too many balls at what seemed like critical times. It seems like every other team's receivers always made a catch or 2 when it was needed the most and on a consistant basis. Our WRs were very Jekyll and Hyde when it came to important catches and sometimes even in the same game (see Smith against Steelers).


If Joe isn't getting time in the pocket then why do we not try shorter drops and quicker passes to get the ball out of his hand? Boldin has been very effective on slants so why do we not throw them very often. Would it kill us to throw a WR screen to slow down a pass rush? How about shallow crossing patterns coupled with deeper routes to take away some LBs or the safeties. Brady seemed to have these routes open to him a lot when he needed to get the ball out of his hands but Joe very rarely had that outlet especially when they had Rice well covered. It has been the same story all season.


Cam seemed to play right into the D's hands. Teams loaded up to stop Rice and blitzed when they saw a play fake so Joe never got any time. Uhh our play fakes fooled nobody most of the time. We seemd to live by a rule that a hurry up offense must only be run during the final 2 minutes of a half. It is forbidden at all other times. Where was the urgency? Find a mismatch, exploit it and keep the D from subbing until they can stop it. Teams do it against us all the time because we have really good substitution packages and depth along the D-Line and LB. They getting something they like and they keep us off balance by going hurry up. It's a copy cat league so why do we fail to copy any of the good things other teams are doing.


In game adjustments seem to be for losers that failed to come up with the perfect game plan. Where were the adjustments when plan A failed to work or the other team adapted? I can't remember watching a play and saying, I haven't seen that before.


Does anyone remember Cam's first season here, when he got so creative with his calls because we had a rookie QB and not much else on offense? I got excited by what I was watching even if the execution was lacking sometimes. There was some wildcat and funky formations and unbalanced lines etc. Now all I see is, here is the play try and stop it over and over.


His system does not fit the players we have. His personality does not seem to mesh with his QB. We have had 4 years to change the players and if anything it feels like the offense has got worse. If Cam won't change his system to suit his players then it is time for someone else to have a go at getting this unit where it needs to be.

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I thought Cam adjusted and called a decent game after the first quarter.


But I agree we have problems with WR separation and with the relationship Cam has with Joe.


What I think would suit Joe would be a West Coast Offense and that would require a new OC.

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Nice write up RavenMad.


Let's see here....


Ravens offensive rankings:


Year......total offense...points per game






I'd say that with all the talent on offense, that machine sputters too much.


Harbaugh keeps saying this team's goal is to get better each week. The offense hasn't.

So what to your change and correct?

#1. Cam needs more talent to work with. The O line was maybe average but it certainly looked outclassed at times this year. It hurt the running and passing game.

#2. Joe has Boldin, Smith, Pita and Rice to count on as receivers. They still need a #1WR.

#3. Cam and his coaches. Take a real hard look at them and see if there are any others available who are better than them. I don't know of any in the market at this time as far as the OC position. I'm worried about a step down if they ax Cam. I do believe there are OC's in the league who can get more out of this roster but they have jobs.


And Just Remember...it's a team sport, so all 3 units in the game plan have to work in tandum toward the common goal of winning games. Ozzie has set the blueprint. John's in on it with him. Tough, physical, smashmouth team that can run in December and beyond...that can compete in the AFC North. The O with get players who fit that profile. So Cam had to work with that.

AND...they made the playoffs in 2008 with a rookie QB and RB. Not too shabby. AND...they've made the playoffs 4 years in a row (nobody else has)

Do you want to upset that apple cart?

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Since this is under the heading of "it all comes back to Cam Cameron..." let's lay it there re: Boldin/Edelman.


What routes is Boldin best at? Where does he do his best work? Over the middle, slants across the middle, etc etc...


What routes does Cam have Boldin run on a regular basis, despite the fact they aren't his best? Deep posts, flies... and of course the out/hitch to the sideline.


Now, which is easier for a fast/athletic, but not very big or skilled DB easier to cover? I'd argue the latter. Especially when the receiver is not speedy.


Let's put it this way... I could probably handle covering Boldin a few times if I knew his route before the snap every time. And I could probably handle covering his deep routes if I knew they took 5 seconds to set up and Joe was only going to get 3-4 in the pocket. :)

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Exactly DC. You hit the nail on the head. I don't think Cam is getting our players into the best situation for them to succeed and that is a problem.


Certainly I believe the players have to take some of the blame but a good OC should be able to call plays to get the best out of his players and limit the plays that highlight their weaknesses.


Max, I don't think you can be afraid of the unknown. You could upset the apple cart sure, but can you settle for being the Eagles? They went to the playoffs how many seasons under McNabb and got to the big dance once. We have that same look to us. We will get to the playoffs every season but will inevitably fall short unless we take some risks. Sure it could blow up in our face (see the San Diego Chargers) as a good example. However, if we want to take the next step some change is needed.


Familiarity breeds contempt and I think that is what is brewing. If Ray and Ed are returning then next season is surely their last shot. Do you think they will stand for Cam's offense for 1 more season?


You want smash mouth football again. Hue Jackson is your man. Not only does he have familiarity with Joe but he really got the Raiders running game going when he arrived there. I don't think it is any coincidence that the Raiders improved in the season he was OC and the 1 he was HC. That is a move I would be on board with as I don't think it would upset the apple cart too much while at least giving us a fresh approach.

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And why can't we run the shotgun and hurry-up more than we do? Why don't we have more 3-step drop and pass? We had a good one to Torrey Smith during the game and that was the first time I've seen one in I don't know how long.


The bottom line (as Ray would say) is that we have to get just a bit better. If we can find the right OC it just might make the difference.

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