You’ve seen them throughout the NFL. They are the league’s answer to a high school cheat sheet.
Just imagine what you could have done with one so sophisticated, hidden under your shirt as you labored through Trigonometry exams.
Such jesting aside, have you ever wondered why such elaborate wristbands are good enough for Tom Brady and Drew Brees but not for Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco?
After speaking to a few people in the know about such things, the charts are intended to speed up the play calling process. In doing so, offenses that aspire to be fast-paced can get out of the huddle quicker forcing defenses to get sub packages on and off the field in a timely fashion. It also gives a quarterback ample time to survey the defense and determine pre-snap if the play called in the huddle will work.
The added time also provides for changes in blocking assignments and for wide receivers to make their own pre-snap read based upon defensive alignment so that they are on the same page with their signal caller.
This is something foreign to Cam Cameron’s offense and it begs the question, “Why?”
It’s all about control.
Think back to the 2010 season when Cameron said audibles were overrated. Tell that to Peyton Manning.
Last season the Ravens sent Jim Zorn packing allegedly to provide a single voice of clarity to Joe Flacco devoid of mixed messages. That voice would be Cameron’s.
The deliberate way in which plays are called and the way the Ravens get to the line of scrimmage. Could that be by design as part of an effort to force Flacco to run the play called by Cameron?
Maybe the Ravens only want to run 60-65 plays per game figuring that if their defense provides a turnover or two, the odds of winning tilt heavily in their favor. They’ve run just 61.7 plays per game over the past 3 seasons. Twenty-two other teams have run more on average than the Ravens over the same period.
Or maybe Cameron doesn’t want to relinquish control this far into his tenure. If he does and the team’s offense takes an upward tick or three he’ll be accused of holding the club back and it could jeopardize his job.
As painful as it may be, don’t look for Flacco’s handcuffs to be replaced by a Brady-like wristband anytime soon.
Unless of course the wristband reads, “Don’t think. Just do as I say.”