Late For Work 12/9: Harbaugh Defends Cam’s Play-Calling

Plus Gano gets his chance, McAlister is cut, Rice apologizes, the All-Decade team and Power Rankings.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 9:03 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Harbaugh Defends Cam’s Play-Calling

In head coach John Harbaugh’s weekly radio show, several callers expressed disappointment in the play-calling by Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

One fan suggested that Cameron’s style is too aggressive for the Ravens’ offensive makeup and suggested that Harbaugh should consider leaving Cameron and try a different route.

It was a request that Harbaugh quickly rejected:

“That’s not going to happen,” Harbaugh said. “We have one of the best, if not the best, offensive coordinators in the National Football League.”

“You build something, you put it together, you work hard, you have ups and downs, you work through them…We are together in this thing. We are going to build a world championship offense here, together. There’s no question about it. The players and coaches together. And Cam Cameron’s just the man for the job.”

Two play-calls, in particular, were questioned: the flea-flicker that resulted in an interception in the first quarter, and the fourth quarter Willis McGahee goal-line rush that resulted in a 2-yard loss.

Harbaugh said he liked the flea-flicker call, but that quarterback Joe Flacco should have thrown the ball away or thrown the checkdown when he saw his receivers were covered downfield. Fortunately, the interception did not lead to a Green Bay score.

The play called on the first-and-goal situation in the fourth quarter was originally intended for McGahee to go inside behind Haloti Ngata, but McGahee made the decision to break it outside, Harbaugh said. 

Gano Gets His Chance

Kicker Graham Gano was signed by the Washington Redskins to replace Shaun Suisham who was released after missing a 23-yard field-goal attempt on Sunday that might have sealed a victory over the New Orleans Saints, reported The Washington Post.

Gano lost an offseason kicking battle to former Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka, and later went on to play for the United Football League, where he kicked the overtime winning field goal in the championship game for the Las Vegas Locomotives last month.

That Didn’t Last Long

Former Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister was waived by the New Orleans Saints after just three weeks on the roster, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He played two games with the Saints, in which he recorded four tackles and forced one fumble. McAlister’s replacement will be former Vikings cornerback Marcus McCauley.

Rice Apologizes for Comments about Green Bay

After the disappointing 27-14 loss vs. the Packers, running back Ray Rice wasn’t very complimentary of his stay in Green Bay.

“To be honest with you, it was just Lambeau Field,” he said. “I didn’t see anything special. They put us in the middle of nowhere and it’s not a real exciting place. Everything about this place is terrible, to be honest with you.”

One day later he issued an apology on his Twitter account.

“As a man I would like to apologize the fans of Green Bay,” he wrote. “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover and for me to talk about your city was wrong.”

Peter King’s All-Decade Team

Jonathan Ogden (8 seasons played in the 2000s), Ray Lewis (10 seasons) and Ed Reed (8 seasons) all made Sports Illustrated Peter King’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

There’s no doubt these men are three huge factors behind the Ravens’ success this decade, including a Super Bowl championship and five postseason appearances.

Last week,’s John Eisenberg wrote an interesting column on life in Baltimore after Ray Lewis. And now, this All-Decade Team makes me wonder who will be the next great ones in a Ravens uniform. There is potential on the roster, but it is way too early to know if players such as Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice or Michael Oher could develop into legends like Ogden, Lewis and Reed. Are there any current Ravens you think will become worthy of a 2010s All-Decade list?

Schwartz Keeping His Lips Sealed

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is looking for any advantage he can get over the Ravens in the matchup scheduled for this Sunday.

His starting rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford aggravated the separation of his non-throwing shoulder against the Bengals, and Schwartz won’t give any indication of how his quarterback is feeling.

“I’ve got a pretty good idea of his status, but I don’t feel any need to tell Baltimore that information,” Schwartz said at a Monday press conference, per the Associated Press.  “They played Monday night this week, so they are already facing a short week and the difficulties that brings.  I’d rather not help their game-planning process by letting them know which quarterback we expect to play.”

Power Rankings

The Ravens and Steelers continue to keep each other company in the center of the Power Rankings around the web. Nobody in the AFC seems to want to pull away with a Wild Card spot. Losses from other AFC teams are keeping playoff hopes alive for both the Ravens and Steelers, although the light is slowly getting dimmer.

ESPN: Ravens 16(13), Steelers 15(12), Bengals 5(5)
Fox Sports: Ravens 13(7), Steelers 14(8), Bengals 4(4)
CBS Sports: Ravens 16(15), Steelers 14(12), Bengals 4(5)
Sporting News: Ravens 14(12), Steelers 17(13), Bengals 5(6)
USA Today: Ravens 13(12), Steelers 14(10), Bengals 5(6)

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