*BR.com caught up with Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who talked about both playing and coaching at Indiana, his favorite New Year's event and what he does in the offseason.
- BR.com: What has been your most memorable New Year event?
"There are a couple of Rose Bowl wins in there. There's a bye week in there before the playoffs. The bottom line is if you're playing through the New Year, you've had a good season."
Do you have any crazy travel stories from your years in football?
"One year at Indiana, we were playing Penn State and went back to get on the airplane, and the plane wouldn't leave. So we go back to the hotel, and they had given all our rooms away. So the whole team wound up staying in the basement. I was fortunate enough to get Joe Paterno out to come and speak to the team the next day. I wanted to have him give the team his take on the game."
How did that come about?
"I was trying to get my sports information guy, Todd Starowitz, to get Joe's number for me. I knew Joe and his wife, Sue. We tried every way we could to find Joe Paterno's phone number and couldn't find it. Finally, I said, 'Hey, check the phone book,' and it was in the phone book! So I got their number out of the phone book, and Sue answered. I said, 'Sue, you've got to be kidding me. This is your number?' She said, 'Sure, Joe's right here.' So we spent three hours trying to get his phone number and found it in the phone book."
What was the driving force behind the academic success your teams had at Indiana?
"It's the obligation to every kid that comes there. You can impact a guy's life, there's no question, through a successful football experience, wins and losses, and guys would rather win. But ultimately, down the road, if a guy leaves without his degree, I'm not real comfortable with that. We had a great academic staff. I think we were one of, if not the best in the country, especially for public schools. It's just that obligation that you feel to educating anyone that you come in contact with."
Who is someone you've coached who totally exceeded your initial expectations for him?
"Antwaan Randle El. There's a bunch of them, but Antwaan Randle El would be one. He came in to Indiana at 158 pounds as a partial qualifier and left Indiana having played football, basketball and baseball, graduated in four years and working on his master's. And he's still playing in the National Football League [for the Washington Redskins] at a position [WR] that he didn't play in college."
Having played football for Lee Corso at Indiana, what do you think of his antics on ESPN every weekend?
"Lee Corso was the primary reason I went to Indiana, and he did a great job recruiting. Let me tell everybody out there, everything that he does on TV, all of his players have already seen. He has not changed. He did not get on TV and become this funny guy. He was like that as a coach. And you've got to remember, he was the first coach to lead Indiana to a bowl victory, my freshman year, the Holiday Bowl. We went to that bowl game, won the game and had a ball, because one thing Lee Corso's going to do – he's going to have fun and enjoy what he's doing."
Do you have any memorable Bob Knight moments from playing basketball at Indiana?
"There are a ton of them. He disputes half the stories I tell, though… One year when we were getting ready to play Michigan State, he wasn't real pleased with the way we were playing. He felt like we had become feeling like we were entitled to things. Basically, he told us, 'You're going to tape your own ankles. You're going to do your own laundry. You're going to get your own meals. You're going to get your own transportation to the game.' He wanted us to get an appreciation for everything that's done for us. That turned one of our seasons around. I can't do justice to all the lessons that you learn playing for Bob Knight, and those are things that affect me in a positive way even at this age now."
How do you like to spend your time in the offseason?
"For me, other than football, there are two things. Family and, if I had my choice, I'd fish about every day. Family and fishing are big with me."
Do you have favorite spots to fish?
"Yeah, I've got a lot of favorite spots, but I'm not telling anybody! One time, I was trying to get a guy to tell me where he was catching all these fish. He looked around and said, 'Right in the mouth.' You don't tell your fishing spots."