The question has been the topic of debate around Baltimore at the barber shop, in the grocery store and during a seemingly endless rotation of talk radio shows.
What is the problem with the Ravens offense on the road?
The Ravens coaching staff dug deep during the bye week – looking at everything from the team’s travel schedule to re-watching every play of the season – to attempt to answer that question.
After the period of introspection, the players and coaches came up with a common diagnosis: Communication issues.
“The one thing that we’re not as good at on the road as we are at home is being on the same page,” Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said Thursday. “We’re looking at everything from a communication standpoint, how we can make sure, on the road, that we’re on the same page.”
Communication is the key in the Ravens’up-tempo, no-huddle offensive approach that they have adopted this season.
The scheme gives quarterback
Changing those plays at the line in a road environment, where crowd noise is often a factor, can create challenges for the offense to stay in sync. But having the ability to audible is key for Flacco and the Ravens, and Cameron does not want that to change.
“That’s a huge part of what we do,” Cameron said. “But, I think getting on the same page is the first thing we have to do.”
As part of the audible options, Cameron wants to make sure that running back
“We want Ray involved,” Cameron said. “Ray is a big part of what we’re doing. We have to make sure that within our audible system the audibles don’t take the ball out of his hands, based on what the defense might be dictating.”
When speaking with media Wednesday, Rice seemed to agree with his offensive coordinator that the team simply needs to communicate better.
“I think the second half of the year, the best thing we have to do is all be on the same page, and let Joe drive this thing, let the coaches call the plays and we’ll go out there and execute at a high level,” Rice said.
Flacco emphasized this week that he doesn’t think the Ravens should abandon the no-huddle, saying it would be “foolish” to do so, especially because it has proved incredibly successful at home.
The Ravens have been one of the best offenses in the NFL in the four games at M&T Bank Stadium, averaging 32.3 points per game. But on the road, they average just 15 points per game and have scored one touchdown in the last 10 quarters.
The production at home gives Cameron confidence about what his group could also potentially do on the road.
“The great thing for us as an offense, us as a team and for all the Ravens fans is that we know what this offense can be, we know what we want it to look like, we know what it feels like when it’s being executed because we see it in M&T [Bank] Stadium,” Cameron said. “Now, the bottom line is you have to take it and carry it out on the road.”
Cameron said that the problems are “very correctable,” and quickly fixing the problems is critical now that three of their next four games are on the road, starting this Sunday in Cleveland.
The Ravens have spent the last 10 days studying the issues, and now they have a chance to go show the much-needed improvement.
“We’ve looked at it all. We’re wearing the same shoe sizes. We’ve got it all covered. We’ve got the same shoes, same uniforms, a lot of that stuff,” Cameron said. “The bottom line is execute better. But, the No. 1 thing, let’s be on the same page, first and foremost."