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Jim Caldwell Won't Change Offensive System

Posted Dec 10, 2012

The Ravens offense won’t undergo major changes, but Jim Caldwell may implement minor tweaks.

The Ravens made a big change at offensive coordinator Monday, dismissing Cam Cameron and promoting Jim Caldwell.

But Caldwell said there won’t be massive changes now that he’s in charge.

"We have a real fine unit and certainly great coaches, great system," Caldwell said in a statement to reporters Monday afternoon.

“It’s not a system change. Obviously, the Ravens offense is the Ravens offense. It is not a philosophical change.”

While there won’t be big changes, Head Coach John Harbaugh indicated that Caldwell could continue to implement some of his coaching methods from Indianapolis.

Caldwell helped orchestrate Indianapolis’ prolific offense with quarterback Peyton Manning. It was an up-tempo, no-huddle attack that featured a lot of throwing and decision making from the signal caller.

“I think you guys all know, you’ve been around Jim all year, you know what kind of coach he is, what kind of offense [he] ran in the past,” Harbaugh said. “All those things apply.”

Caldwell was informed of Cameron’s dismissal this morning by Harbaugh, and he said he “certainly agreed to take on the challenge.”

Caldwell will be charged with putting a jolt into a Ravens offense that currently ranks 18th in the league in average yards per game and ninth in scoring (25.5).

It has been inconsistent over the course of the season, struggling on the road, having problems converting on third down and recently with turnovers. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been up and down throughout the year as well.

Caldwell met with his staff, broke down film from Sunday’s game, then spoke to players about his expectations.

“I had an opportunity to talk with them and really, in a nutshell, just try to make them understand, really, what we’re trying to do is just to get about that much better,” Caldwell said, spreading his fingers a couple inches apart.

“That’s about it.  And, that’s a difficult, task, obviously, trying to get that done in this league. But, that’s what we are shooting for.”

It will be Caldwell’s first time as a coordinator in his 35 years of coaching in college and the NFL. He went from being a quarterbacks coach to head coach for three years in Indianapolis, so he has never called plays at the NFL level.

Harbaugh did not express trepidation with Caldwell’s ability to call plays.

“Jim is qualified,” Harbaugh said. “Jim is a heck of a coach and we have a heck of a staff. They’ll do a great job, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.”

Caldwell will continue to operate as the Ravens’ quarterbacks coach in addition to his play-calling duties. It has not yet been determined whether he will coach from the field or in a booth elevated from the field. He was in the booth as a quarterbacks coach.

Caldwell was hired in February to be Flacco’s quarterback coach. He brought with him a resume of having groomed one of the NFL’s greatest in Manning by teaching sound fundamentals, such as a quick release and better footwork in the pocket.

Caldwell was Manning’s quarterbacks coach for six years (2002-07) when Manning produced NFL highs in completions (2,482), completion percentage (66.5), passing yards (29,210), passing touchdowns (222) and passer rating (100.5).

Manning won three of his four NFL MVP awards during that time, including in 2004 when he threw for a career-high 49 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. He and Caldwell won a Super Bowl in 2006.

Caldwell’s first game will be against his former pupil Sunday as the Denver Broncos come to M&T Bank Stadium.

Harbaugh was asked whether the remaining games are an “audition” for Caldwell to continue as the team’s offensive coordinator beyond this season.

“This is an opportunity for us to try to win some football games, to try to be the best football team,” Harbaugh said. “Long-term considerations are long-term considerations, and that’s not in the forefront of our mind right now.”

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