Cam is gone: A story about the owner…Flacco…and locker room unrest

December 10, 2012 | Drew Forrester

Cam is gone: A story about the owner…Flacco…and locker room unrest

No pun intended, but there were evidently several straws placed on the CAMel’s back this season.  And there were numerous players who weren’t afraid to voice their opinions, either directly to the owner or loud enough to someone in the know so that word got out…there’s unrest in the locker room.

Following Sunday’s loss to the Redskins, Bernard Pollard threw an epic tantrum that included direct insults to players and the coaching staff.  He, along with others on the defensive side of the ball, had been continually frustrated all season with Cameron’s insistence on running the no-huddle offense which, at times, did nothing more than brought the defense back on the field after a quick 3-and-out from Flacco and his troops.

The defense’s discontent with Cameron and the offense was one of those straws that caused the camel to buckle.  They just couldn’t keep going out there for 30-35 minutes a game, as they were asked to do often through 13 weeks of the campaign.

The Flacco contract was the other straw. Bisciotti, as the guy signing the checks, was forced to remind his employees – Newsome, Harbaugh, etc. – that the organization could not afford – literallly – to make a mistake on the financial future of the quarterback.  This, no matter what Flacco winds up getting, will set the owner back a large chunk of up front money and he demands – and rightfully so – that the right decision be made on his employee…the quarterback.

Some would say, “What’s the big deal?  Just go with Cameron over the last three regular season games and the playoffs and see what happens and then sit down with Flacco.”

That’s all well and good, except what if – just what if – it’s actually Flacco who has hampered Cameron and not vice versa?  At least with Jim Caldwell at the helm – and with a minimum of one playoff game in January – the Ravens will get to see Flacco play four games without being under Cameron’s tutelage.  Four games is a small sample size, yes.  But the Ravens know, for sure, that Cameron and Flacco can’t possibly co-exist down the road.  And they know they’re not getting rid of Flacco at this point, barring some sort of complete collapse on his part.  So now – or perhaps even three weeks ago – is the time to make the move and see what Joe does with HIS offense, sans Cameron.

The Ravens have a paltry investment in Cameron.  Bisciotti spends more on steak, wine and golf shirts at Caves Valley in a year then he pays for his offensive coordinator.  The Ravens are about to make a $75 million investment in their quarterback.  It’s clear who is more important in the organizational depth chart.

Cameron, it should be noted, was a very demanding coach.  He liked his authoritative role.  And when pressed, he would remind his people that he was in charge.

The same can be said for Bisciotti.

And Sunday – leading over into Monday – he reminded everyone in Owings Mills of that.

As I wrote at the beginning, John Harbaugh made mention during his weekly press conference that “you can believe what you want” as it relates to the Cam Cameron story.

I know John Harbaugh well enough to know he wouldn’t fire his offensive coordinator with three weeks left in the season.

But he did.

Sort of.

And if I can heed John’s words, I will, in fact, believe what I want.

This was – as the saying goes – above the coach’s pay grade.

 

 

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11 Comments For This Post

  1. BmoreBobRob Says:

    Is Matt Cavanaugh available?

  2. chuck Says:

    Drew,

    Now, you have called the same number of NFL plays as both the head coach and offensive coordinator combined: Zero. (DF: Yeah, but I’m getting paid a lot less. Figures…)

  3. Logan Says:

    Big fat* paycheck

  4. Rick Says:

    Great reporting and analysis, Drew. Lets hope the team rallies around the switch and beats a very tough Bronco squad. Flacco won’t be able to point fingers now. Of course letting Cam go won’t cure all the injuries on our defense!

  5. RJ Says:

    Nice job reporting on this DF! Let’s see where it takes us.

  6. Unitastoberry Says:

    Never thought from the get go this move was anything but the owners and Caldwell may only be interim too.

  7. charlie Says:

    i trust drew on this one. excellent reporting, best around.

  8. The Armchair QB Says:

    Frankly, Drew, this is not so much a matter of performance struggle between OC and QB as it is the “Jekyll & Hyde” performance game to game as well as quarter to quarter! The timing may relate both to the coming post season and the pending contract, but this change was not only inevitable, it should have happend two years ago!

  9. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    In Drew we trust, nice job of reporting. As you well know I was not a Cam fan and wanted him gone last year. With that said, I agree with you, Harbs was just the messenger, no way it was his decison. Bisciotti saw what every other fan saw, lack of consistency in the offense and had enough.

  10. Brian Says:

    Steve Bisciotti made this call, no doubt in my mind. If it didn’t, Harbaugh when asked would have said “no this was my decision and my decision alone”. Here’s the way it more than likely went down over the phone Sunday night:

    JH: Hello
    SB: You either do it or I’ll do it for you.
    JH: Do what Steve ?
    SB: You know what. Get rid of Cam 1st thing tomorrow or I will. And if I have to do it, you’re next.
    JH: I understand.
    SB: I don’t think you do John or you would have handled business after the Pittsburgh game like I recommended a couple of weeks ago. I’m done with excuses, I want results.
    JH: It’s done.
    SB: (click)

  11. Dan Says:

    Cameron should have been shown the door long long ago so I applaud this move by Mr. B . Generally speaking the guy with the Billion Dollars has pretty good judgement . on Billicks Firing DF- “In hindsight, his decision was the right one. Harbaugh is about to be 5-for-5 in playoff appearances, a testament to Bisciotti’s keen judgement on both the firing and the hiring.” To some hindsight was needed on firing Billick , for Bisciotti and many fans it was foresight . Billick had to go, that was an easy call.

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