Is Cam Cameron holding Joe Flacco back?
The Ravens have endured an up-and-down start to the season on the offensive side of the ball, hitting rock bottom during Monday night's awful 12-7 loss in Jacksonville. One of the talking points in Baltimore in light of that letdown surrounds the team's hurry-up offense.
More specifically, people are wondering if the hurry-up could, you know, hurry up a little bit more.
That issue came up Monday, as quarterback Joe Flacco consistently looked to the sideline for calls from offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, an exchange that cost the Ravens time as they attempted to come back.
The natural question, then, is if the two-minute drill could run faster if Flacco called the shots.
"I guess there is probably truth to that," Flacco said, and then paused as he chose his words carefully. "It's just how quickly can I think on my feet and get the play out there. I guess there is truth to that. It's just a matter of how we want to do it."
Cameron responded Thursday to Flacco's comments, telling reporters that his QB has the ability to call -- or at least suggest -- plays.
"I think that's something you always want to work for," Cameron said. "Joe and I have talked about that. He knows this and understands this. He can call any play that he feel he needs to. He can suggest one at any time. He's made several suggestions this year. He knows when he suggests one, I call it. I just believe in that. I come from that kind of environment where the quarterback gets involved in the playcalling. He's had a significant amount of input. And I'd love for him to do that."
Without putting words in Cameron's mouth, it sounds as if the coach and the QB are in different spots here. Flacco's statement implies that he would like a little more freedom; Cameron makes it sound like he'd love to give Flacco some more responsibility, but he's not quite there yet.
And if that's the case, then what's the holdup here? Flacco is in his fourth year as the Ravens' starter, all four under Cameron's tutelage. If there's still a disconnect between the two, that is a problem for the Ravens.
Baltimore currently sits in the top 10 in points scored this season at 25.8 points per game, but the Ravens have scored just 20 total points in their two losses. As usual the defense is up at the top of the league, ranked No. 1 in both points and yards allowed so far. Which means that the Ravens' success in 2011 will hinge on whether or not Flacco and the offense can deliver. Depending on how things turn out, Baltimore could find itself reassessing its situation. After four years together, Flacco and Cameron need to turn a corner or one or both could find themselves under the franchise's microscope.