Sticking With Cameron is Still Ravens’ Right Move

April 30, 2012 | Thyrl Nelson

Sticking With Cameron is Still Ravens’ Right Move

4 – Offensive Turnover

 

I’ve talked about it a lot this season. Look at the rest of the league, and its best teams. Now look at how long they’ve been mostly together. While some turnover on both sides of the ball is expected from season to season, the Ravens have routinely swapped out 40% of their offensive line and more than half of their receiving corps each year and have seemingly tailored their offensive philosophies around the talent at hand each and every season. From the run heavy unbalanced line looks of the 2008 season to the streaking Torrey Smith show this year, the Ravens have been blown up and rebuilt continuously under the Cameron/Flacco regime. What other successful team is dealing with this kind of turnover from season to season?

 

LT: 08-Gaither, 09- Gaither, 10 – Oher, 11 – McKinnie

LG: 08- Grubbs, 09- Grubbs, 10- Grubbs, 11- Grubbs/ Gurode

C: 08- Brown, 09- Birk, 10- Birk, 11- Birk

RG: 08- Chester/Yanda, 09- Chester/Yanda, 10- Chester, 11- Yanda

RT: 08- Adam Terry/ Willie Anderson (TE), 09- Oher, 10- Yanda, 11-Oher

FB: 08- Neal, 09- McClain, 10- McClain, 11- Leach

RB: 08- McGahee/McClain, 09- Rice/McGahee, 10- Rice/McGahee, 11- Rice/Williams

TE: 08- Heap/Anderson 09- Heap, 10- Heap/Dickson, 11- Dickson/Pitta

WR1: 08- Mason, 09- Mason, 10- Mason/Boldin , 11- Boldin

WR2: 08- Clayton, 09- Clayton, 10- Mason/Boldin, 11- T. Smith

WR3: 08- Williams, 09- Clayton, 10- Houshmandzadeh, 11- Evans/L.Williams?

 

 

5 – Decorum

 

Owner Steve Bisciotti did Cameron and the Ravens a great disservice this season by declaring that he liked “Cam under fire”. The credibility that Bisciotti lent to the perception that Cameron was on shaky ground cemented him as a polarizing figure all season. Again given all of the circumstances detailed above, the jobs done by Cameron and Flacco could be seen as miraculous and celebrated, instead each has been routinely taken to task throughout the season while the team piled up win after win. Both deserve a medal for simply tolerating it with dignity and decorum.

 

 

6- The Offense Did Improve

 

Production and improvement are both relative. On the surface the Ravens statistical numbers are disappointing and appear to represent a step back. Before judging too quickly though look at the brutality of the schedule that they played. While I touted the schedule as soft all season and still believe it to some degree, the defenses that the Ravens had to deal with from week to week were unfathomable.

 

In terms of total yardage allowed the Ravens faced defenses ranked 1st (PIT x 2), 2nd (HOU), 4th (SF), 5th (NYJ), 6th (JAX), 7th (CIN x 2), 9th (SEA), 10th (CLE x 2), 16th (SD), 18th (TEN & AZ), 22nd (St.L) and 25th (IND).

*The Ravens were ranked 3rd themselves, so they played 11 of their games against the 9 best other defenses in the NFL.

 

In passing yards allowed Ravens opponents were ranked 1st (PIT x 2), 2nd (CLE x 2), 3rd (HOU), 5th (NYJ), 7th (St.L), 8th (JAX), 9th (CIN x 2), 11th (SEA), 13th (SD), 14th (TEN), 15th (IND), 16th (SF) and 17th (AZ)

*The Ravens were ranked 4th, so all of their games in 2011 were against top 16 (other) pass defenses in the NFL.

 

In points allowed, Ravens opponents were ranked 1st (PIT x 2), 2nd (SF), 4th (HOU), 5th (CLE x 2), 7th (SEA), 8th (TEN), 9th (CIN x 2), 11th (JAX), 17th (AZ), 20th (NYJ), 22nd (SD), 26th (St.L), and 28th (IND).

*The Ravens were ranked 3rd, so they played 10 games against the top 8 other scoring defenses in the NFL.

 

There’s a game-by-game table at the end with some pretty telling stats, but before you get there…

 

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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Sam Says:

    Look, the stats you present are all solid, but the base fact that matters before all else is that professional football is a fan-dependent, entertainment industry. Statistical reality has its place, but fan perception has heavy bearing as well. And it can’t be good when the average fan has a stultified expectation that between Cameron’s boring playcalling and Flacco’s take-the-sack conservative style of play, the only stat that matters are 3-and-outs.

    3-and-outs destroy souls. And deep in the corners of the Raven’s fans psyche creeps in the thought that “you know, it can’t be good that we keep putting our defense back out there, the best players of which are on the wrong side of 30.”

  2. Chuck T Says:

    Statistically Rivers and Brees flourished almost immediately after they were working under a new offensive coordinator. They were chalking up about a 1000 yards or better each season afterwards. The question is “How far along is Joe Flacco”? and “How much control does Cam Cameron need each season”? Cam and Jim Zorn didn’t get along. If Cam had it his way he would love to play both roles as he did this year. Is it sceme and play calling? Look at the Packers. Is it all Aaron Rodgers? Is it Matt Flynn too? Brady vs. Matt Castle? We may never know how good Joe Flacco could be. Is he better served under the claustrophobic offensive coordinating of Cam? Joe’s numbers are pretty much the same every season. Will he become the next 4-5000 yrd passer? We may never know.

  3. Lee-Otis Says:

    While we’re delving critically into stats, we ought to delve into the most FRAUDULENTLY MIS-USED stat in the last 4 years. That being that somehow if we did not have Joe, or Cam, or a combo of both over the last few years, we wouldn’t have gone to the playoffs and won games.

    I think most people know that it isn’t BECAUSE of Joe or Cam that we go. It’s IN SPITE of Joe and Cam.

    We ought to give Joe more leeway, especially in light of his efforts last Sunday. But Biscotti and Newsome should make it painfully clear to Cam, he survives on only because they lack a worthwhile alternative at OC.

  4. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    The thought of bringing back the architect of a non-prolific offense that has been charcterized as, “inconsistent”, “dysfunctional”, “out-of-sync” and “predictable” doesn’t exactly make me want to stand up and cheer! In fact, it epitomizes Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! Just think, another year of, hey diddle, diddle, Rice up the middle, then Flacco gets thrown for a loss! I can hardly wait………..

  5. Joe of bel air Says:

    You people are complete idiots. The Ravens are a Lee Evans strip and a Cundiff choke away from the Super Bowl and you want to blame Cam because Joe isn’t throwing for 400 yards every week and racking up 35 points a game. Hey I hope the Ravens continue doing what they are doing. Going to the playoffs 4 straight years and to the AFC title game in 2 of the 4 ain’t half bad IMO. I agree with you Thyrl that keeping Cam was the correct move.

  6. Jim of Owings Mills Says:

    Cameron’s approach is to avoid turnovers by refusing to put the ball up for grabs. He won’t ask his team to do things they’re not good at. Flacco is still learning to make good decisions when he’s has to read the whole field. The receivers aren’t very good at catching the ball. The offensive line is pass blocking okay but isn’t run blocking well in the trenches. Given these things, it’s just asking for trouble to throw over the middle and run in the middle. When you don’t throw over the middle, Flacco has to read less of the field, receivers still drop balls but don’t get intercepted as much, and Ray Rice gets screen passes.

    Refusing to get involved with things you’re no good at is a healthy approach.

  7. unitastoberry Says:

    If you watch alot of NFL games other than the Ravens all these OCs do the same stuff. Like 3rd and 8 and they throw a 2 yard pass. Or 3rd and 15 deep in your territory and they run a draw.In the playoffs Cam called the right play but Evans dropped it. This year the only suggestions I would give Cam are use Rice more from the slot on passing plays and throw deep more often to him. Get Pitta on the field more and use him in the slot or spread him out wide all the dude does is catch the ball!

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