The Baltimore Ravens could have a changing of the guard in their 2012 season.
For years the Ravens have been known for their smash mouth in your face style defense. Instead this year could be termed “The Year of the Offense” by many fans and national media experts.
Quarterback Joe Flacco is primed to have a huge season behind offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and new quarterback coach Jim Caldwell. Flacco had an outstanding camp and has seemed to pick up where he left off last year in New England. Everyone is aware by now that Flacco who is entering a contract year is the first starting quarterback in NFL history to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. His off-season remarks about being an “elite” quart back caused a stir around the league and national circuit however the former Blue Hen is out to prove it.
That said the key to this successful offense, like it or not is Cam Cameron and 2012 is the year he silences his critics.
Entering into his fifth season as the Ravens offensive coordinator, Cameron’s impact has been significant. I too have scratched my head several times about his play calling. In 2011, Flacco produced his third-straight 3,500-yard/20-touchdown passing season, while running back Ray Rice led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage under Cam.
Cam has a full holster of weapons this year and had an entire off-season to figure out how to use them. He has installed the no huddle/hurry up offense throughout the preseason which Flacco embraces. He also has Torrey Smith who set a Ravens rookie record with seven touchdowns along with 50 receptions for 841 yards; Anquan Boldin’s return to the slot grouped in with the free agent signing of Jacoby Jones and a healthy Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta – the sky is the limit.
Cam has vowed the up-tempo style on offense won’t even affect the teams star running back Ray Rice.
“Ray, we know, is one of our best players,” Cameron stated to the media. “The bottom line is that he’s always a huge part of what we are doing, and we’re always looking to see how people are defending him to see how we can continue to get him the ball in space.”
There are no more scapegoats on the roster. The Ravens parted ways with kicker Billy Cundiff and wide receiver Lee Evans thus leaving only Cam to shoulder the blame if the team fails offensively.
“We know what the expectation is. We know what we’re capable of doing. And I’d like to think that the other night (against Jacksonville) was just a glimpse of what you’re going to see heading through the season.”
If not it could be the end of Cam directing the Purple and Black.