Providing few details of how the decision was reached to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh maintains not much will change heading into the last three games of the season with the AFC North title and a possible first-round playoff bye in the balance.
Jim Caldwell, who’ll retain his role as quarterbacks coach, was elevated to offensive coordinator and already has begun game-planning for Sunday’s opponent, the Denver Broncos and his former quarterback Peyton Manning. Caldwell was the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts until last season when he was fired and Manning was released.
"Jim is qualified. Jim is a heck of a coach. We’ve got a heck of a staff,” said Harbaugh, whose offense has stalled in the second half of consecutive, three-point losses.
When the Washington Redskins kicked a field goal to pull out a 31-28 win in overtime Sunday, it marked the first time the Ravens had lost back-to-back games in three seasons.
In a news conference in which Harbaugh staved off repeated questions about exactly what led to Cameron’s firing in his fifth season in Baltimore and if owner Steve Bisciotti was involved in forcing his hand to make the move, it was clear that quarterback Joe Flacco and the once-upon-a-time hurry-up offense had regressed.
Reading between the lines with Harbaugh, there were other motives -- and voices -- on the ousting of Cameron. Harbaugh did say that Flacco was not consulted on the move.
"We put 28 points up. So you’re not going to say it was a reaction to a down offensive performance. It was not that," Harbaugh said about Sunday’s loss when Flacco threw for three TDs in the first half but only passed for 62 yards in the second half. "That’s really important to point out. It would be real easy to say … it’s the result of something and somebody’s taking the blame for something. It is not that. People are going to believe what they want to believe. It’s what I believe is best going forward for our offense and our football team."
The timing of this move could be an issue, but Harbaugh insists it’s not going to be Caldwell’s offense. The Ravens won't be re-inventing the wheel.
"It’s going to be the Ravens offense, that’s the way it always works,” he said. “We’ll continue to build on what we’ve been doing. That’s what you do. Jim’s been apart of that the whole season along with the rest of the coaches. It’s always a collaboration. We’ll do it together. I look forward to seeing how it plays out."