Then there’s this year: Bryant McKinne at LT without playing a single preseason snap anywhere, Grubbs and Gurode splitting time at LG, Birk at C, Yanda at RG and Oher back at RT after playing LT all preseason.
McGahee is gone, Ricky Williams is backing up Rice and Vonta Leach is in at fullback with McClain gone too.
Heap and Mason (recent staples in the passing game) are gone and have produced little since leaving perhaps shedding some light on what Flacco and Cameron were working with. Boldin is back and with his 63 catches from last year was the elder statesman in the group. Last year’s rookie TE’s and their 12 combined catches from last year are playing together and with regularity, a second round rookie has established himself as the team’s best receiving threat, and Lee Evans is only now getting a chance to find any kind of role in the offense after struggling with an injury all season.
Yet somehow we’re wondering why these Ravens don’t have the well-oiled machines that wee see on offense in other cities…really?!?!?!?!?
If I were Cam Cameron, with the playoffs approaching, I’d walk into Steve Bisciotti’s office today and demand an extension. “Cam under fire” was not only a misguided statement, but also an irresponsible one to make publicly regardless of the owner’s real feelings on the matter. Who’d call the plays if he quit today? Who’ll be doing it if he’s fired?
Harbaugh’s Convenient Detachment
It’s not fair or justified that we seem to consider Harbaugh a motivator and special teams “guru” more than a tactician on offense or defense. As a successful NFL head coach he is surely some combination of all of the above and has to be. Still, for whatever reason, whenever things go badly on one side of the ball or the other, the criticism immediately befalls the coordinator. Even after declaring his intentions to be more involved in the offensive game planning this season, the criticisms of the offense have eluded him. Although our perception of Harbaugh is both unfair and undeserved, it also seems to provide him a unique position of safety from criticism and public ire.
Underrated is Invaluable
If the Ravens could indeed find a comfort zone with Cameron and give him a little bit of offensive continuity from season to season, he could become an invaluable asset. Recent hiring trends (coupled with is own track record) seem to have Cameron unlikely to get a head coaching opportunity anytime soon. If the Ravens could find appreciation for and belief in Cam they could expect to see he and Joe “grow the offense” together for a decade or more to come.
The lack of appreciation for Flacco both locally and in general should be of benefit to the Ravens too. Flacco deserves to be, and will be rewarded with a nice contract, but not likely a superstar contract. As you look longingly at the league’s superstar quarterbacks and pine for one of your own, also consider that savings have to be found somewhere in the salary cap era. Keeping in mind that Ray Rice has a big payday coming up consider too that swapping Flacco out for a $20 million per season superstar would also require some reshuffling of the rest of the deck and the departure of some talent.