Let me start this off by saying that I am a big Cam Cameron fan. I was a fan when he was in San Diego, even though he was hamstrung at times by “Marty-ball”, although from what we’ve seen from the Baltimore Ravens this season, it seems that Marty Schottenheimer shouldn’t get total blame for that. That being said, there are times throughout a 60 minute football game, his play calling is questionable at best.
First and foremost, if I’m the OC of the Baltimore Ravens, every pass play I have in my playbook would revolve around Anquan Boldin. The fact that throughout 12 games this season, Boldin has only caught 56 passes for 770 yards is inexcusable. As we saw Sunday night, when you throw the ball to Boldin, only good things happen. And the fact that he isn’t targeted 15 or more times a game is something that has to change. Anquan Boldin is a man, and without a doubt, is the Ray Lewis of the Ravens’ offense. My offense would go as Boldin goes, and Joe needs to develop whatever it is that he has going on with Derrick Mason, with Q.
The second criticism I would have for Cam is that sometimes I don’t think he has a feel for the flow of the game. Case in point was that ridiculous end around to Donte Stallworth in the fourth quarter that lost 11 yards. Did Cam forget what defense he was playing against? Historically, the Steelers NEVER fall for that play. You can run an end against a lot of teams in this league, but Pittsburgh isn’t one of them. Also, the Ravens had no running game whatsoever, which was no big surprise because their offensive line was banged up and getting abused and stopping the run is what the Steelers do best. However, they had a lot of success throwing the football down the field, especially against Bryan McFadden, but Cam seemed to go vanilla at times during the game, especially the second half. Instead of attacking a weak Steeler secondary, he was content to sit on a lead, which ultimately kept the game to within a one score game.
The last point that I want to make is that Cam seems to lack confidence in Joe Flacco’s ability to guide the team up and down the field. It’s almost as if he dumbs down the play calling and still has the training wheels on Joe, even though he has proved very capable in leading this offense when it needs to be aggressive. I understand that Joe is not Tom Brady, but at some point, you have to tell your quarterback, “Go win us this game,” and call the appropriate plays. Cam, for the most part, doesn’t seem to be willing to do that, and I think that has really hurt this offense at times during the season. And you can say all you want about execution, but with the weapons this offense has, it is INEXCUSABLE to put up 10 points in a home game against your division rival with a top playoff seed on the line. And in my opinion, a lot of that falls on Cam. He isn’t allowing his quarterback to put the game on his shoulders and win football games in the 4th quarter. That has to change going forward, or this season isn’t going to get even close to where we want it to go.
There are four games left. The margin for error is negligible, and if the Ravens want to position themselves for a deep run, this offense has to start winning games. And that all starts with the offensive coordinator and the quarterback.