The Ravens top brass and team owner Steve Bisciotti are set to meet in Florida to discuss where exactly the team is heading and the best way to get there.
In order to be successful every team in the National Football League must have an identity. Whether it is on offense or defense, having an identity is critical. And that’s hard to achieve when there are way to many hands in the cookie jar.
Between Juan Castillo, Andy Moeller and Todd Washington working with the offensive line to Jim Caldwell and wide receivers coach Jim Hostler making game plans and calling plays no wonder there was mass confusion on that side of the football last season.
In October John Harbaugh alluded to the fact that the play calling and game planning has been the responsibility of Caldwell and Hostler.
My question is why does Jim Hostler have that much input into the Ravens play calls and game planning. All one has to do is look at his time in San Francisco when he served as their offensive coordinator in 2007 until being fired, on January 2, 2008.
The results are strikingly familiar to those of the 2013 Ravens.
As offensive coordinator for the 49ers, Hostler was subject to much scrutiny and criticism regarding his play calling. Among his most common criticisms was his inability to effectively use Frank Gore, who led the NFC in rushing in 2006 with 1,695 yards yet under Hostlers’ play calling he dropped 35% in one season to 1,102 yards.
Gore publicly criticized Hostler, saying the team did not trust his play calling.
Midway through the 2007 season, the 49ers’ offense ranked last in the NFL, and the rushing offense, ranked sixth the previous year, was ranked near the bottom of the league after eight games under Hostler’s play calls.
Under Hostlers’ direction, the 49ers fell behind every team in the league in the categories of total offense, yards passing, and yards per play and concluded as the league’s worst offense and the team finished with a 5-11 record.
The transformation on Hostler’s watch was markedly in the wrong direction.
When Caldwell took over the reigns Flacco started calling more of his own plays but yet this season it was back to square one. Most franchise quarterbacks after signing a huge deal as Flacco did during the offseason, begin to have a bigger say in the offense. Not in Baltimore.
The blame can be shared by everyone for the failure of the 2013 offense. From the coaches to the players to the vanilla playbook that was used.
Let’s hope that if the Ravens do decide to part ways with Caldwell, Hostler is not their “Next Man Up”.
Otherwise the Ravens offense could once again be without an identity.
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