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.
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.