Cam: ‘Ray Can Be More Involved’

However, Cam Cameron wants execution to improve and he won’t stop being aggressive.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Several offensive players stepped up after Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and said they were disappointed with the way they performed.

Now Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron is taking his turn.

“We didn’t put our best foot forward Sunday,” Cameron said Tuesday. “We had opportunities to win and we didn’t get it done. We’ve got to do a better job offensively and it starts with me.”

Cameron has been criticized since Sunday’s game about not using Ray Rice enough on a day when Joe Flacco was struggling.

The Ravens threw the ball 39 times for 150 yards (3.8 per attempt) with one touchdown and four interceptions. They ran the ball 23 times for 109 yards (4.7 per attempt). Rice notched 87 yards rushing on 16 attempts and caught four passes for 30 yards.

“In hindsight, you can always say you should have done more of the other,” Cameron said. “There’s no question we can continue to get Ray Rice more involved.”

However, there were 40 total touches spread amongst the Ravens’ offensive threats. Rice got half of them (20 total). Against the Jets in Week 1, Rice had 23 of the Ravens’ 55 touches.

Cameron has traditionally aimed for between 20 and 30 touches per game for Rice. Also, as Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday, Rice sustained a minor ankle injury during the game.

Cameron doesn’t feel that a lack of touches for Rice caused the offense’s problems. Obviously, turnovers doomed the Ravens, but there was also a lack of execution, particularly on some big plays that could have drastically changed the outlook of the game.

Just because those plays didn’t connect at times Sunday didn’t leave Cameron less hesitant to call them when the matchups later presented themselves. And Cameron isn’t going to stop being aggressive moving forward.

“You’ve got to have confidence in your quarterback, which we do, and confidence to throw the football in critical situations,” Cameron said.

“I think everyone knows how we feel about the running game, but we need to be able to do both. Our guys know that for us to be successful we’ve got to be able to run it and throw it successfully in times that it has to get done.”

Cameron said Flacco had perhaps his best-ever week of practice leading up to Sunday’s game against the Bengals. Accordingly, the game plan was to “do certain things throwing the football,” Cameron said.

Flacco started out the game on a rough note, completing 5-of-17 passes for 23 yards, but Cameron felt they straightened out a few things during the halftime break and the results showed.

Rice ran on the first two plays out of the break for a combined 11 yards. Then, catching the Bengals off balance, Flacco took to the air for five straight passes, capped off by a beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Mason to give Baltimore its first lead. Flacco went 4-for-5 for 69 yards on the drive.

“You just can’t give up on things, especially when you saw what happened at the start of the second half,” Cameron said.

Flacco hit Rice on a short throw for a gain of 19 yards to open the next drive and things were looking up. Then Cameron dialed up three straight passing plays. The first was incomplete deep to Mason and the next, a quick toss outside to Boldin, was stopped for a loss of 2.

Facing a third-and-long, Flacco made one of his worst passes into traffic across the middle, where it was intercepted by Leon Hall. Flacco was picked off two more times in the fourth quarter, including once on a tipped ball by a defensive lineman.

“It was just giving our playmakers chances to make plays to put the game away,” Cameron said.

“That is not going to keep me from giving guys opportunities. That’s not always going to mean running the ball, though we have a great appreciation and really believe in running the football. That hasn’t changed.”

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