Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

January 23, 2012 | Glenn Clark

Your Monday Reality Check-Cameron Future Only Part of Postseason Agenda

As the team works on contracts for their pending free agents, they will also have to think about the future of their quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco put together an exceptional game against the Patriots, but did not appear to make significant strides forward in 2012. He has one more year on his rookie contract but will almost certainly press for a new deal to get done before the 2012 season begins.

The futures of Flacco and Cameron are of course intertwined as they have long appeared to have a bit of a chilly relationship. Flacco was very close with former quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson, the currently unemployed former coach of the Oakland Raiders who ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has linked to a potential opening in Baltimore. Cameron has had a very close relationship with Harbaugh however, and the success of the head coach has allowed him favor with the organization to make decisions.

It will be interesting to see how much (if at all) that changes after a fourth trip to the postseason again leaves the team short of reaching a first Super Bowl since the 2000 season.

It isn’t exactly a “Harbaugh vs. Flacco” decision for the organization, but I would expect that phrase will be typed by more than just myself in the coming days.

There are other question marks for a team that will try to build towards the ultimate prize while also not losing ground to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC North.

Lewis’ decision to return does not settle concerns about the future of the organization at Inside Linebacker. McClain has been the steadiest of the group outside of Lewis, but his value might be overvalued on the open market. The team will have to consider the position both in the NFL Draft and in free agency.

The Ravens will owe WR Lee Evans a $1 million contract bonus in March, and his 4th quarter endzone drop Sunday will make it tough for GM Ozzie Newsome and company to justify the money after dealing a 4th round pick for the receiver this summer. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith will remain atop the depth chart at the position, but the team will likely pursue additional help at the position.

Perhaps the most disappointing part of the 2011 Ravens season was the clear regression of the Special Teams units. Football Outsiders (the most respected group to track such things) ranked the group 30th in the NFL in 2011. Those struggles were on obvious display in Foxborough, where the team was able to get very little going on returns, allowed a 41 yard kick return from Danny Woodhead to set up New England’s go ahead touchdown drive and ultimately lost when K Billy Cundiff missed a 32 yard field goal in the game’s waning seconds.

ST Coordinator Jerry Rosburg has not received much in the way of public criticism, but the lack of results this year were staggering. Harbaugh appeared to show faith in his kicker after the loss, but it would be understandable to feel the need to at least discuss the position in the offseason.

There’s no reason to believe the Ravens won’t be considered among the AFC favorites in 2012, but there’s much to be addressed before that time.

As Linkin Park said, “the hardest part of ending is starting again.”

(I’ll assume that’s the only time you read a column today that it wrapped with a Linkin Park lyric.)

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Ruben Says:

    If you know, what is the Ravens’ salary cap situation?

  2. Colin Says:

    It might be worth trading Michael Oher while we can still get something for him.

  3. MJ Says:

    Hue Jackson would be a very nice replacement for Cam.

  4. gweeto Says:

    Hue Jackson would be a good fit.He worked with Joe first couple of seasons.So many opportunities this year have haunted us.The vindication of Joe Flacco is complete.He played a great game with one mistake but with an nfl caliber receiver with the ticket to indy in his hands,Joe will not get the credit he deserves.

  5. Steve Says:

    Cam has to go. After the Evans play, 3rd and one, with plenty of time and a time out left. The idea is not to put everytthing on 3rd down. Get the first down and get a few more chances. Instead 3rd down play was a waste to get to the FG. A Flacco draw or a Rice pitch would have given them more chances for a TD. Harbaugh should stay because he should have used the time out to set up the kick. The play looked rushed.

  6. Steve Says:

    What I meant about him staying is that Harbaugh was one of the five in the post about negative contributers. He flopped in managing the drive.

  7. Phil Knox Says:

    Some thoughts on yesterdays game. The Ravens lost the game on horrid play of the offensive line and the lackluster play of the d line. I understand that Ngata is hurt, however the d line, after having a Pro Bowl first half was “Ngata” factor in the second half of the year. The o line is just pathetic, I understand there are some injuries, but the units play over the last several weeks has been awful.

    Something. else I understand and concede the Ed Dickson is a better athlete, but next season hopefully Pitta is higher on the depth chart. Dickson drops too many catchable passes and sticks his head up his rear end way too much.

  8. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    Glenn, I’ve been beating the Cameron must go drum consistently! Nothing personal, but unless he’s replaced with someone like a Hue Jackson, who had a great rapport with Flacco, don’t expect any changes in the offense. And, in my “opinion” that would be a….shame!

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