The Face of Ravens’ OC Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell on Field

Whether it was on the sidelines as the skipper of the Indianapolis Colts or in the coach’s booth above the field as the interim offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, the look on Jim Caldwell’s face was always the same.

Stoic.

Seemingly detached.

Expressionless.

Unemotional.

Dispassionate.

Dazed and confused.

Recently the media was invited to a chalk talk session with the team’s coordinators: Jim Caldwell (now, officially the “OC”); Dean Pees; and Jerry Rosburg. Not having had any real exposure to Caldwell I expected his portion of the session to be about as exciting as he is in the booth.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Caldwell was animated, extremely well spoken, passionate and engaging – essentially all of the things I thought he wasn’t!

He commands attention and while he had mine, I couldn’t help but to think about Joe Flacco. We’ve heard that the relationship between Jim and Joe is solid but I attributed that to something that I thought they had in common – a laid back personality. After watching Caldwell in action I now know that’s not the connectivity that bonds the two.

I think it’s all about trust.

As the Ravens OC continued to walk us through things that happen on the sidelines, in the booth and on the field and how they all tie together, it became increasingly clear that unlike his predecessor Cam Cameron, Caldwell empowers his quarterback. He prepares him, consults with him and then delivers a game plan the quarterback controls, not one that controls him.

There’s a big difference.

You see Caldwell doesn’t want his quarterback to be a robotic game manager. Instead he uses the days of preparation leading into a game to collaborate on a plan, have Flacco take ownership of it and then allow him to adjust to changing game conditions based upon what he sees and feels.

Do you think for a second that without such empowerment Flacco would have ever checked out of a running play on third and one up 31-29 with 7:14 remaining in the Super Bowl to throw a back shoulder pass to Anquan Boldin for a gain of 15?

That play, that crystalizing moment in such a high pressure situation on the biggest of stages, successfully executed could change the way Flacco performs going forward, particularly with Caldwell at the offensive helm.

With Cameron it was, “This is the plan, do as I say!”

With Caldwell it’s, “This is our plan, go out and play!”

When a quarterback buys in, he’s mentally sharper and able to process the rapidly changing environment that surrounds him more efficiently. And when that happens productivity soars.

One only needs to consider Flacco’s last 5 starts as proof.

Funny how his stoic, “deer-in-headlights” look, is now considered to be steely-eyed focus.

Chalk that up as another misinterpreted expression…

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

6 Raves on “The Face of Ravens’ OC Jim Caldwell

    • Dr. Evil on said:

      What does Calwell’s contract look like? How many years? Ozzie & Biscotti see this chemistry and like it as much we do. When Caldwell leaves, he’ll be replaced with someone similar. Joe has the potential to be truly great. He will flourish this year and transform into what analysts will, finally, call “elite.”
      Go Ravens!!!

  1. JerryB on said:

    Brilliant, as usual, Tony! The results speak for themselves and the FACT that Cameron is now in the college ranks is really all anyone needs to know about how well he’s regarded in the NFL! Unfortunately, we can’t regain all the lost time under Cameron, but the future sure does look bright…….

  2. Hollywood24 on said:

    Jim Caldwell is responsible for a lot of success that Peyton Manning had as a qb, so I really won’t be surprised if Flacco turns out just as well. I really don’t care if Flacco is ever what they considered “elite,” as long as the play is consistent and the Ravens win games. Jim Caldwell will be a major part of that?

  3. Rick S on said:

    Great information. I can’t believe we didn’t get rid of Cameron before last season. Cameron used to drive me crazy.

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