Ravens Explain Why Cam Is Best Option

Steve Bisciotti: Any ‘logical businessman’ would say Ravens’ offense is progressing.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti came to Wednesday’s press conference with his homework on the team’s offense in hand.

And he wanted to show it off.

Over the past four years, with Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron and quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm, Baltimore’s offense has been at its best since Bisciotti came into town in 2004.

And it’s still progressing, the owner says.

For that reason, the Ravens chose to retain Cameron instead of shaking things up and starting over.

“I’m looking at these trends and a logical businessman would say that we’re making progress,” Bisciotti said.

And his answer to Cameron’s persistent critics?

“I don’t know if I have a message for that 10 percent of the fans with that vitriol,” he said. “I just don’t have an answer for them. I just don’t, sorry.”

Here are Bisciotti’s numbers:

In 2006, the Ravens had their best offensive season really since the Super Bowl in 2000, led by quarterback Steve McNair. They were 12th in the league in points that year and 17th in yards. As Bisciotti remembers, “We were elated.”

From 2004 to 2007, the Ravens were ranked on average 23rd in yards per game and 20th in points per game. In each of the past four years with Flacco and Cameron, the Ravens have averaged 12th in points per game and 17th in yards per game.

This season, Baltimore ranked 12th in points per game (23.6) and 15th in yards per game (338.7).

“We think our numbers are going to continue to go forward,” Bisciotti said.

“We think Joe and Cam together will get that done in year five rather than scrapping that, getting a new offensive coordinator, trying to install a new system. I think they’re getting pretty comfortable with each other.”

Like Bisciotti, General Manager Ozzie Newsome looks at the larger body of work when evaluating anything, including keeping Cameron on the staff.

“It’s not as much about retaining Cam as much as it is, are we headed in the right direction in this offense?” Newsome said.

“We are headed in the right direction. Are we satisfied with where we are right now? No. But we think the best way to get there is to maintain the continuity of having Cam, bringing in someone like Jim Caldwell to bring in another set of eyes with that.”

Caldwell was hired on Monday to be the new quarterbacks coach, taking those duties off Cameron’s plate and allowing him to be more involved in all areas of the offense.

Newsome was asked whether Cameron had received a multi-year contract. He insinuated that they have not [add t] finalized the terms of the deal yet. The Ravens do not release the details of any contracts, including those of coaches.

“We’re dealing with Cam and his contract,” Newsome said. “Today, I don’t foresee a problem with that.”

When Bisciotti looks at coaching hiring and firings around the NFL, he sees a “carousel” out there that doesn’t jive with his business mind of building consistency.

It’s in part due to that consistency – with the roster, in the front office and on the coaching staff – that has allowed the Ravens to be the only team in the league to reach the playoffs four straight seasons.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator is let go and then somebody else wants him. Defensive coordintors are going back and forth, getting fired and re-hired in different spots all the time,” Bisciotti said.

“It’s not like we have a Triple-A system where those people are batting .400 and everybody knows it’s time to move them up to the big leagues. To go out and get a position coach and make him an offensive coordinator and then find out he wasn’t better than what you had [doesn’t make sense].”

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