After weeks of proclaiming the Ravens’ problems moving the ball were a product of just poor execution –- not talent or coaching -– coach John Harbuagh finally did some finger-pointing Monday by firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
The team announced on Monday that Jim Caldwell, the quarterbacks coach in his first season with the Ravens after being fired as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts last season, will be elevated to offensive coordinator and take over the play-calling duties. The firing ends a five-year run for Cameron, who came to Baltimore with Harbaugh when he was hired in 2008.
Harbaugh released a statment saying "My charge – our responsibility as a coaching staff – is to maximize the opportunities for our team to win, and we can still reach all of our goals for this season. We have a motto we follow on this team: W.I.N. – What’s Important Now – and what’s important now is to find ways to get better, win the AFC North and advance to the playoffs.
“With our coaches and players, the solution is in the building. We are going to make the most of our opportunities going forward, and this change gives us a better possibility to achieve our goals."
The Ravens (9-4) are still in control of the AFC North but appear to be fading heading into the postseason. Their defense has been decimated by injuries but has done a reasonably good job considering they're without Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Dannell Ellerbe, Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith.
They’ve lost their last two games by field goals to backup quarterbacks, including Sunday’s 31-28 overtime defeat at the Washington Redskins, and in each the offense sputtered in the second half under quarterback Joe Flacco.
In last week's 23-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Ray Rice only had 12 carries even though he was averaging 6.5 yards against the NFL's top-ranked overall defense. Sunday, Rice had 19 carries for 117, but it wasn't enough as Flacco only threw for 62 yards in the second half.
The season started on a high note for the hurry-up offense, which scored 37 points in a 44-13 opening win on Monday night vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. A comeback 31-30 win on a Sunday night prime-time game vs. the New England Patriots was a high point.
But the offense has been inconsistent with Flacco rarely able to put together four quarters of solid football. He had two costly turnovers in the third quarter as the Ravens lost a 21-14 halftime lead Sunday.
Even efforts to slow the hurry-up offense by Cameron failed to produce results.