Joe Flacco acknowledged that he and the Ravens offense haven't performed up to expectations Monday, but he still didn't anticipate former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron being dismissed.
"I was definitely stunned to hear the news," Flacco said.
Head Coach John Harbaugh called Flacco early Monday morning after the Ravens parted ways with Cameron. The quarterback came into the Under Armour Performance Center to discuss the move with Harbaugh and new Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell.
Afterwards, Flacco called Cameron and the two had a good, very "natural" conversation, according to the quarterback. Flacco said Cameron "is at peace"*with the change *and that too much has been made of perceived friction between he and Cameron.
"Listen, Cam has done so much for my career," Flacco said. "He brought me here and trusted to bring me here, first of all. He's just helped me every year I've been here. I'll never forget that. He's been great for me."
Flacco has played under Cameron since he came into the league in 2008 as a first-round pick out of small-school Delaware. Since then, Flacco has won the most games of any quarterback in his first four years in NFL history and gone to the playoffs every season.
Cameron was largely the man put in charge of overseeing Flacco's development, and was his quarterbacks coach last season.
But the results weren't good enough, prompting the move.
Flacco and the Ravens offense currently ranks 18th in the league with 344.4 yards per game. The Ravens are ninth in points per game this season (25.5). Flacco has been inconsistent this season, and is coming off two games where he committed costly turnovers.
The fifth-year quarterback was asked if he and the Ravens offense have underachieved.
"Yeah, probably," he said. "I think we're working on becoming a very good offense around here. I think we all wish it would have happened a little quicker, but I think we're still working towards that.
"We've got to look at ourselves and make sure over whatever we have left, the regular season, the playoffs, we've got to make sure we put our heads down and excel that process and get it going. … As an offense, we have to look at ourselves and see what we have to do to get better. Obviously, we weren't good enough."
Pundits have said the change at offensive coordinator puts more pressure directly on Flacco's shoulder. Flacco shrugged off that notion.
"I don't really care. It doesn't matter to me," he said. "My job is to come in here and get our team wins and do the best I can to put our team in a winning position. I'm going to continue doing that."
Moving forward, Flacco recognized that the shake-up on offense means the unit is expected to generate some kind of spark going down the final stretch of the season.
Flacco said Caldwell emphasized that the unit must* *come together and give their input to get through what is a challenging time of transitioning to Caldwell's offense.
"[Caldwell] had to gather himself and get ready to make this change pretty quickly," Flacco said.
"Jim's great. He's a great person and he's a great coach. The little time that he's been here, we've had a great working relationship."