Fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron landed on his feet… he's just been named the new offensive coordinator at LSU. Good for Cam…and a nicer man with a bigger heart you'll never meet.
I'm one of the few Ravens writers who think Cam got a raw deal when John Harbaugh threw him under the bus after Game 13…
So much of Cam's game plan depended on a functional offensive line and execution on passing downs by his receivers. He seemed to be getting neither of those factors on a consistent basis. It really wasn't until John Harbaugh switched up his OL personnel, and Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith started making plays to the ball which they had been muffing, that the Ravens went on their run to the Super Bowl. It had virtually nothing to do with the difference between Cam Cameron and replacement OC Jim Caldwell.
Go back and look at NFLN sideline footage of Cam's last few games with the Ravens. There are some shots of John Harbaugh yelling at Cameron with some degree of animosity. Cameron just stands there and takes it. What was Harbaugh so angry about?
My guess is Harbaugh was getting frustrated during a 3-game losing streak over poor execution by the O-Line and his receivers. And it's tough to establish a running game when your receivers can't run successful routes and make essential catches, or your O-Line is getting beat down at the point of attack. At some point, Harbaugh blamed Cam Cameron for the poor performance of his personnel.
Caldwell was on staff and probably going to be promoted to OC at the end of the season anyway. If the Ravens had not made the Super Bowl, Cameron's contract was not going to be renewed. So Harbaugh figured, shake it up now—what did he have to lose?
The only real difference between Cameron and Caldwell is Joe Flacco gets a little more freedom to audible out of plays called by Caldwell. But that's a minimal difference.
Without Bryant McKinnie emerging to save the day at left tackle, and Marshal Yanda getting healthy at RG, and Jones and Smith getting some extra time to get open and finally perking up their routes, none of the good stuff under Caldwell's tutelage would have happened.
That's the reality. And that's why Cam Cameron deserves a Super Bowl ring as much as anyone in the Ravens building.
Five years of winning…that's Cameron's legacy in Baltimore. That was his offensive system on display in New Orleans.
With his teams securing a better than .600 winning percentage with Cam as offensive coordinator (100-57 regular season record in 10 seasons with San Diego and Baltimore), he is one of the winningest coordinators in NFL history.
The Ravens notched a 53-24 regular season mark during Cameron’s tenure in Baltimore.
The average experience of Cam Cameron’s starting quarterbacks during his 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator was only 3.2 years. If you don’t count the two seasons that Philip Rivers was a backup to Drew Brees (Rivers’ first career start was the first game of his third NFL season), the average starting experience for Cam Cameron’s starting quarterbacks during those 10 seasons was 2.9 years.
Under Cameron’s direction in San Diego, Philip Rivers earned a Pro Bowl selection in his first season as a starter and Drew Brees earned a Pro Bowl berth in only his third year as a starting quarterback. In that third season, Brees recorded the third highest QB rating of his career and recorded a career-low seven interceptions. The tremendous success of future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, as well as Ravens running back Ray Rice is well documented. However, as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, Cameron helped Ronnie Brown lead the entire NFL in total yards from scrimmage over the first seven games of the season before a season-ending knee injury. In his 11 seasons as an NFL head coach or offensive coordinator, Cameron’s offenses led the NFL in points once, finished among the top five on three occasions (1st, 3rd, and 5th), and finished in the top half of the NFL nine times. The two occasions his offenses weren’t among the top half of the league in points were his first season in San Diego and his only season in Miami.
After only his fourth season, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco became the Ravens’ all-time leading passer in yards (13,816), TD passes (80), and completions (1,190) and was second in completion percentage (60.8). Flacco’s 44 regular season wins in his first four seasons were the most ever by a starting quarterback in his first four years in the NFL. Flacco is the only starting quarterback in NFL history (since the 1970 merger) to reach the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.
Make that five.
Give Cam Cameron a ring.