After a week of pundits and fans singing the praises of the offense, Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and his play calling have quickly come back under fire from outsiders.
Cameron’s calls to pass instead of run in short-yardage situations in Sunday’s game in Philadelphia, especially on the Ravens’ final series, have been at the center of the debate.
On Thursday, Cameron stood behind his decisions and made some clarifications.
Cameron said the Ravens didn’t actually have third-and-short situations, and on the final two incomplete passes it was more like third-and-2 (or more) instead of the third-and-1 that appears in the stat sheet.
“I really felt good about the calls that we made,” Cameron said. “If that was a legit third-and-1, we probably would have run the football or had the chance to.
“But third-and-2 ½ in that situation, I like the idea of our quarterback having the ball in his hands, five potential receivers and then you also have the possibility of him to scramble and improvise versus running the football into where you have at least one, and in Philly’s case, two unblocked guys. That was the plan. We didn’t execute it. I think that’s probably the issue.”
Reporters asked whether factors such as quarterback
“There is some truth to what you are saying, but it wouldn’t affect the call,” Cameron replied.
“I’m going to have a ton of confidence in Joe. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence in anyone else. I like our chances with Joe Flacco, with his ability to get the ball to any of those other five. And will we do that all the time? No, but in critical situations you are going to see that a lot.”
Cameron indicated that the Ravens have embraced a no-huddle, aerial attacking offense this season led by Flacco and they aren’t going to change that approach just because it didn’t work out one week.
The players are behind that philosophy too.
“This is Joe’s offense and we all just need to get on board and follow his lead,” running back
“We’re never going to complain about the play calling,” tight end
Cameron pushed the focus to this week against the New England Patriots.
The Ravens will once again face a defense that plays a lot of press coverage. The Patriots do more Cover 2 while the Eagles did Cover 1, but either way, the Ravens are expecting that they’ll have to once again have to deal with a lot of jostling.
“Defensive guys are allowed to jam you and even grab and hold you,” Cameron said. “That’s what you do. We play through contact, that’s our philosophy. We are going to work technique, work through contact. That will be huge this week.”