Archive for the ‘Ravens’ Category

The newest Baltimore tailgate anthem – Purple Solo Cup!

June 5, 2012

This past weekend was the 48th annual Ravens Roost convention in Ocean City, Maryland (yes, 48. It was the Colts Corral Convention previously), and for about the eighth consecutive year, Goob and I were in attendance. This year, we re-wrote the lyrics to Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” to better suit the occasion, and Goob sang it (several times). If you weren’t there, first off I’m sorry. But secondly, here is the video evidence. Lyrics within the video and below:

Now a purple solo cup is the best receptacle
for barbecues, tailgates, and Ravens festivals
and you sir, do not have a pair of testicles
if you prefer drinking from glass

A purple solo cup is cheap and disposable
and if the Browns ever win something, they’ll be decomposable
and unlike a Pittsburgh fan, my house is not forecloseable
Steeler Nation kiss my ass

Purple Solo Cup, I fill you up
It’s a Ravens Party! It’s a Ravens party!
I love you, Purple Solo Cup
I lift you up, proceed to party! Proceed to party!

Now I love to hold you up and cheers for a sack
Even better when it’s Big Ben on his back
Because when he gets hit and his nose goes “crack”
well that my friends is kinda…funny

But I have to admit the fans get smitten
Admiring how sharply “Goob” is written
On you with a sharpie when I get to hittin’
the tailgate lots to get drunk!

Purple Solo Cup, Steelers really suck
It’s a Ravens party! It’s a Ravens party!
Purple Solo Cup, Steelers really suck
proceed to party! Proceed to party!

Now I’ve seen you in blue and I’ve seen you in red
but “give me purple” is what I said
‘cuz you’re the Ray-Ray to my Ed
and we’re all just Wacko for Flacco!

Purple Solo Cup, you’re more than just plastic
You’re more than amazing, you’re more than fantastic
and believe that I’m not the least bit sarcastic
when I drunkenly look at you and say…

Purple Solo Cup, you’re not just a cup
You’re my…you’re my friend.
Thank you, for holding all my beer.

Purple Solo Cup, I fill you up
It’s a Ravens Party! It’s a Ravens Party!

Solo Cup!

Steelers Suck!

TaylorMade Ravens Hat Giveaway

March 9, 2012

Although we’ve been spoiled by a very mild winter in Baltimore, perfect golfing weather is right around the corner.

TaylorMade has hooked us up with two extremely “cool” golf hats to give away to Ravens fans.

Through TaylorMade Golf’s unique NFL partnership, they are the only golf manufacturer to offer all 32 NFL team hats and visors, so fans can show their team spirit on and off the course.

Features of TaylorMade Golf’s NFL Hats and Visors:
-Adjustable
-Breathable
-Provides UV protection up to 50 UPF
-Has a dark under bill to reduce glare
-Has a moisture wicking sweatband

Since it’s Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter all you have to do is Tweet the following message to your followers and you’ll be automatically entered to win. We will announce winners on Saturday.

Message: #FF @Ravens_247 for the best unofficial Ravens coverage… period!

If you don’t have Twitter, don’t complain… sign up! Twitter is a great way to stay informed of Ravens news and you should definitely have an account.

Good luck to everyone and hopefully you’ll be golfing in this sweet Ravens hat, if you stink at golf, you’ll at least look more fashionable while drinking a few beers in the cart.

To purchase a hat, go to http://shop.taylormadegolf.com/products/N22093

Ch-Ch-Changes at the Nest

March 5, 2012

I know there’s been a dearth of posting around here lately, and I apologize. There is, however, a very good reason. Let me explain…

The times, they are a-changin’ here at B’More Birds’ Nest. When I started this blog way back in September of 2007, it was just a fun way to vent about the Ravens, who had just lost an incredibly frustrating game to the Cincinnati Bengals to start the season. No Ravens fan had ever heard of Joe Flacco or Ray Rice. I think my parents read the blog, along with perhaps two or three of my close friends.

Four and a half years later, thanks in great part to the help of Nick-a-What?!, the site has grown just about as much as we could have possibly hoped for. We were featured in the Baltimore Sun in January 2009, voted Baltimore’s Best Ravens blog last fall, and we’re coming off of five of our best six months in terms of page views in the site’s history. Hell, because of this blog, Goob and I went into a Best Buy in August of 2010 and spent $130 on an open-box flip cam that led directly to us being able to attend Super Bowl 45 and hang out with Ray Rice on Media Row for an entire afternoon.

What more can I ask for than that?

Well, when I started out, I figured the absolute best case scenario was that this blog would be one of the 0.000001% of all websites that grows to the point that it can financially support its writer. While we made a little bit around here, it’s not nearly enough to live on. The next best case scenario would have been to parlay my writing at this blog (which, hopefully, has improved over the years) into a paying gig covering sports in some way shape or form.

It’s that second scenario that may be entering “dream come true” status. Goob has managed to turn GOOBVISION into something that people absolutely love and crave, and he has taken off to ProFootball24x7.com (and Ravens24x7.com). I hope to be a valuable contributor to 24/7 as well. As a result, my Ravens efforts will now be found exclusively at Ravens 24/7. The plan is to continue to put together regular articles over there, including fan favorites from the Nest such as Lookalikes!, Play Like a Raven, and Nick-a-What’s awesome photoshops (when he gets a chance – the time he has available to devote to the site has greatly decreased as well lately, as he started a new job and has two young children).

BMoreBirdsNest.com will still be right here, though – just without the Ravens stuff. I’m not abandoning the site – I’ll continue to post on the Orioles when the mood strikes me, as well as on other topics that I haven’t touched on here in the past such as Maryland Terrapins basketball, lacrosse, and football. In short, it will be more of a personal sports blog. I’ll still call the blog B’More Birds’ Nest; the name is near and dear to me, and I can’t tell you how much I love that logo. I know I’ll lose a good chunk of my reader base, which is composed of rabid, die-hard purple and black fans just like me – I hope each and every one of you will find your way to Ravens 24/7 (if you aren’t already there) – but I hope most of you will stick around even after things change and talk about other sports with us here. In addition to talking Ravens at 24/7, you can still find me on Twitter as well, where I’ll gladly defend Joe Flacco until I’m purple in the face against any and all comers.

It’s been an absolute blast talking Ravens with all of you here at the Nest – from UnbiasedGuy to Scott to Matt to even good old Christmas Ape, thanks to all our regular commenters for keeping things lively. I can’t think of any better use of my time over the past 4.5 years than the writing and interaction here. I can’t wait for more of the same over at 24/7. And remember, I’ll still be posting here – O’s, Terps, shit, even Capitals if you guys want (though I’m not really a fan).

I’m taking my Ravens talents, as they say, to South Beach (or, more accurately, Ocean City beach – where 24/7 meetings regularly occur).

GOOBVISION – I'm Coming Home

February 16, 2012

And now, for a very special announcement. After five years in Raleigh, North Carolina – the last two of which he spent providing us with his hilarious videos – Goob is finally coming back home to B’More. Not only that, but he is going to continue giving Ravens fans exactly what they want, but on a much larger stage.

I’ll let Goob explain…

Our little Goober is all grown up! He’s come a long way from his first video here at the Nest, and I have no doubt he’s destined for big things with Ravens 24×7. And don’t worry, he and I aren’t completely divorcing from our blogging bromance – that’s an announcement for another day though. For now, let’s all celebrate the RETURN OF GOOB!

2012 Mock Draft Round-Up Version 1.0

February 10, 2012

As Giants fans continue to celebrate their latest Super Bowl victory, we fans of the other 31 NFL teams are left to turn deep green with envy while they do. At the same time, though, we turn our eyes toward the next big day on the football calendar – the draft in April. The Ravens fell literally one catch short of a Super Bowl berth in 2011 – will the player that can finally push John Harbaugh’s team over the hump fall to them on draft day?

Before we get into who the mock drafts have the Ravens taking, our usual disclaimer:

Admittedly, we take a very unscientific approach to our mock drafts. I’m the first to admit that the true draft geeks amongst you, dear readers, would probably be better served getting your information elsewhere. These posts are done knowing full well that 1000′s of variables will come into effect between now and the time the Ravens turn in their pick for the first round, and that literally anything can happen. However, that being said, chances are we won’t be appreciably further off on our predictions than any of the other “gurus” out there will turn out to be.

So, if you are just looking for some fun, informal information, we hope you’ll give us a look from time to time as the big April date approaches.

The Ravens are picking 29th this year; the lowest position they’ve had entering any draft under John Harbaugh (2008 – 8, 2009 – 26, 2010 – 25, 2011 – 26). However, they didn’t select from their original position in any of those previous four drafts. In 08, they traded down to 18, where they selected Joe Flacco. In 2009, they moved up from 26 to 23 to get Michael Oher. They traded out of the first round completely in 2010, selecting Sergio Kindle in the second round as their first selection. Last year was the trade fiasco with the Chicago Bears, which resulted in the Ravens running out of time with the 26th pick before nabbing Jimmy Smith at #27.

Based on that recent track record, we have no reason to believe they’ll even be picking at #29. However, that’s all the information we have to work with at the moment, so away we go!

Todd McShay

Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State

(turn sound down)

Burfict is a physical freak with tremendous athleticism and explosive power. He’s a top-20 talent, but questions about his discipline on and off the field are hurting his stock. However, Burfict could contribute immediately and would benefit greatly from the leadership and guidance of Ravens MLB Ray Lewis. And you have to wonder whether the Ravens would press their luck and take another player with character flags after bringing CB Jimmy Smith into the fold last year.

My take: First off, I take issue with McShay’s assertion that they might not “press their luck” with Burfict (due to his off-field issues) because they chose Jimmy Smith – who had similar questions surrounding him – last year. On the contrary, because Smith was such a model citizen during his first season in Baltimore, I’d think the Ravens would instead be MORE likely to take a chance on a guy like Burfict.

Burfict’s “off-field issues” concern missing nearly his entire sophomore season due to academic problems. He plays a bit undisciplined, being benched at Arizona State in 2010 due to his high volume of personal fouls.

Still, he has all the talent in the world, and here’s guessing that the chance to be Ray Lewis’ heir would be enough to make even the crookedest arrow fly straight.

Here’s Scouts’ scouting report on Burfict:

Possesses an excellent frame with good length and thickness. Top-end speed appears above-average on tape.

Durability is not an issue at this point and has appeared in all 24 career games the past two seasons.

Plays with great intensity however, emotions can get the best of him on the field which has led to personal foul calls and costing his team in key situations (Late 4th QTR USC 2010). Also had three personal foul calls against Washington in 2009. No off-the-field issues that we are currently aware of. Had some maturity issues early in his career. Reports are that he has taken big steps this off-season in terms of maturing. Passionate and football is important to him.

Needs work with technique and will free lance on occasion. However, possesses natural football instincts. Make a quick diagnosis, finds the ball and has playmaking instincts. Flashes ability to take a snap shot before taking on blocks and get in position to make a play most collegiate LBs cannot make. Disciplined against play action and can sniff out screens.

Possesses prototypical traits for a MLB. Has a thick frame and solid anchor. Strong and flashes a violent and quick-twitched strike that can shock blockers. Not just a battering ram, though. Does a nice job of slipping blocks when need be and uses hands extremely well to discard blocks.

A gifted athlete for his size and possesses a wide range to make plays outside of the tackle box. Light on his feet and shows an easy change of direction. Closing burst is above-average and can make up ground in pursuit. Can show more consistency with effort chasing plays though.

A reliable run through tackler. A heavy hitter that possesses a rare ability to uncoil hips upon contact. Angles are consistent in pursuit and does a nice job of corralling ball carriers in the open field. Only concern is that he leads with helmet too much.

A three down linebacker that can make an impact both defending the pass and rushing the passer. Athleticism provides him with a wide range in underneath zone coverage. Does a nice job of reading QBs eyes but needs to do a better job of looking up crossers behind him. Can run with TEs down field but may have limitations matched up with quicker RBs in man coverage. A powerful blitzer up the gut that can run through blocks and create disruption in the pocket. Also was observed hurdling cut blocks on several occasions throughout film study.

With Steve Bisciotti stating in the Ravens’ end-of-the-season press conference that he has no interest in building up the offense at the expense of a steeply declining defense, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Ravens go with D in the first round for the second consecutive year. If Burfict is there at 29, he could be a perfect fit in B’More. Who better to teach him to properly harness all that emotion that he reportedly plays with than the king of gridiron emotion, Ray Lewis? Despite the red flags, for Baltimore, Burfict could be Perfect! (grooooaaaaaaaan)

CBS Sports

Peter Konz, Center, Wisconsin

A three-year starter, Peter Konz (kahnz) was a three-star offensive line recruit out of high school and was considered the state of Wisconsin?s top prep player, choosing the Badgers over Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota. After redshirting in 2008, he took over as the starting center for the injured Travis Frederick as a redshirt freshman early in the 2009 season, starting nine games at the pivot spot. Konz became the full-time starter at center in 2010 as a sophomore and started 11 games, but missed two games due to injury, earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors. He started the first 10 games of 2011 as a junior before an ankle injury sidelined him for the final three contests, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors.

Konz is a very good station-to-station blocker and effective puller. He isn?t naturally explosive, but shows the quick feet and mobility to block well on the move. He is aggressive and tough-minded, but has some durability concerns after missing time each of the past three seasons with several injuries.

Konz has an excellent combination of size, strength and quickness and possesses the skill-set to also line up at guard if needed (despite only playing center in college). He blocks with very good balance and raw power and is the top center in this draft class, projecting as a solid top-30 pick.

Pass blocking: Possesses a solidly-built frame with a filled-out body and solid muscle definition. Naturally wide base off the snap. Does a nice job sinking his hips and playing with consistent pad level, sitting in his stance with steady balance. Shoots his hands into defenders with very good placement, flashing strong hands to sustain blocks for an extended period of time. Taller for the center position and will allow his upper body to get high at times. Understands blocking angles.

Run blocking: A physical run blocker with raw power and strength at the point of attack. Gets very good initial push off the snap. Does a nice job with body positioning, walling off defenders to seal run lanes. Not a quick-twitch mover and looks a tad uncoordinated in tight spaces.

Pulling/trapping: Athletic and mobile, blocking well in space and pulling towards either sideline. Shows natural instincts with a very good feel for the position, keeping his eyes elevated and always looking for someone to block.

Initial Quickness: Sets up quickly and gets into his stance in a flash. Stout and aggressive at the point of attack and is tough to move because he plays with such good leverage. Sticky blocker. Konz is a bit stiff in his core and struggles to quickly redirect. Not naturally explosive.

Downfield: Rangy blocker with the foot quickness to cover a lot of ground and easily get to the second level. Takes on defenders with toughness and aggression, looking to finish and dominate.

Intangibles: Intelligent with strong football character, working hard on and off the field. Has good starting experience with 30 career starts at center over the past three seasons. Offers some versatility with the skill-set to line up at other offensive line spots. Has strong durability concerns, missing time each of the past three seasons with various injuries. Missed three games towards the end of 2011, including the Big Ten Championship Game, with a left ankle injury.

My take: If Matt Birk retires – as many expect he will – the Ravens will have a gaping hole at center. Andre Gurode was only signed for one season, and while the team could bring back the former Dallas Cowboy – who played OK as a guard in 2011 – getting a stud young center like Konz that can potentially man the position for the next decade is a much more attractive option. The injury concerns worry me a bit though; the Ravens have been spoiled with Birk, who hasn’t missed a game since coming to the team in 2009. Offensive line is definitely a concern for Baltimore entering the offseason. They struggled mightily in short yardage situations in 2011, and while Birk had a very good season overall, his lack of push in those types of scenarios cost the team on a few occasions. However, the last offensive lineman the Ravens took in the first round – Michael Oher in 2009 – has not proven himself to be completely worthy of such a high selection. I could see the team waiting until later rounds to try to find some value at center and/or guard.

In addition to the big-name sites like ESPN and CBS, I like to look at some lesser-known draft sites. As a fellow blogger, I have a great deal of respect for these guys that scout and put together mock drafts in what amounts to their spare time, or for very little compensation, especially compared to the Mel Kipers of the world. I hope you’ll give them a look as your draft fever increases here over the next few months. The first one we’ll look at today is NFLDraftWizard.com. This mock is by a fellow Baltimore guy, Neal Driscoll – Dolphins fan though (yeah, I know). Give him a follow on twitter: @NealDriscoll.

Burfict

Analysis: From a talent standpoint Vontaze Burfict is a beast but there are a ton of red flags surrounding him. The Ravens have had a history of taking a player with a bad reputation and making him fit. Burfict would be an ideal fit in Baltimore and eventually be Ray Lewis’ successor.

Again with the red flags. Unless I’m missing something, the concerns seem to be a bit overblown. Anyway, as I mentioned above, I think Burfict would be a great fit.

Walter Football

I’ve been including Walter’s predictions in my mock draft round ups for a few years now. I’ll undoubtedly get a few “who the hell is he?” comments, but if you take a look around the site, you’ll see that the guy knows his stuff. There is an incredible amount of content on the site, and I read his game previews pretty much every week during the season.

Burfict

Ozzie Newsome indicated that he’ll be looking for Ray Lewis’ successor this upcoming April. Well, Vontaze Burfict makes sense for a number of reasons. He’s one of the best players available and fits the attitude of Baltimore’s defense. He can play next to Lewis right away, and Ozzie Newsome has taken chances on talented head-cases before.

Since just about everybody is mocking Burfict to the Ravens, it’s probably a pretty safe bet that he WON’T be wearing purple and black come next season. However, he’s definitely a guy that Ravens fans should better familiarize themselves with, as we’ll be hearing his name to the point of exhaustion in the coming weeks.

Maybe his “issues” will be better explained as well – I’m still not sold on him being a “head case.”

Until the next mock draft round up, ya’ll.

Ricky Williams Retires

February 7, 2012

On Tuesday, Ravens running back Ricky Williams announced his retirement from the NFL. Williams, 34, had stated following the AFC Championship game that he was feeling good after the season and was looking forward to coming back to the Ravens in 2012. However, after a few weeks to think about it, the veteran seems to have had a change of heart.

Williams has said in the past that he plans on going to medical school once his football days are over, with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

Through his Alma mater, the University of Texas, Williams released the following statement:

“The NFL has been an amazing page in this chapter of my life. I pray that all successive adventures offer me the same potential for growth, success and most importantly fun. I want to thank all my fans, teammates, coaches and supporters for the strength they’ve given me to overcome so much.”

Ricky ran for 444 yards on 108 carries for the Ravens this season as Ray Rice’s backup. His departure leaves the Ravens with a void to fill at backup running back, as the only RBs remaining on the roster other than Rice (assuming he is resigned this offseason) are 2011 seventh round draft pick Anthony Allen and undrafted Damien Berry, who will also be in his second season. It is highly doubtful that Ozzie Newsome and the Baltimore front office will be comfortable entering the season with those two as the primary backups to Rice.

Williams, of course has “retired” from the NFL before, back in 2004 following a failed drug test. It’s entirely possible that the former Texas Longhorn, who marches to the beat of his own drummer, could change his mind again once the 2012 season approaches. In that case, the Ravens would likely be very open to letting Williams – who is still under contract for another year – rejoin the squad. In the meantime, though, they need to proceed as if #34 will not be back, and start looking for a more proven backup for Rice.

On a personal note, I’m sorry to see Ricky go. I’ve always been a fan of his, and grew to like him even more after watching the ESPN documentary “Run Ricky Run” a few years back. I was pumped when he joined the purple and black, and was in attendance when he scored his first Ravens touchdown against Houston in Week 6. However, football is far from the most important thing in Williams’ life, and I’m sure he’ll make good on the promise he made on his twitter account after news of his imminent retirement leaked:

“Thank you all, but this ain’t it, I’m gonna do something really special. ‘Be you and change the world,’

If this is it, I’m glad Williams finished his career in Charm City. If not, I’ll welcome him with open arms when he decides to return to again back up Rice.

Suggs Wins AP Defensive Player of the Year

February 6, 2012

On Saturday, Ravens defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs was named as the Associated Press’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 2011. Suggs posted the best year of his nine-year career in Baltimore, with 14 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. He was the best player on the Ravens’ defense, which finished the year ranked third overall in the league. Unfortunately, he was a bit quiet in the postseason, as the Ravens barely squeaked by the Houston Texans in the divisional round before falling just short in New England in the AFC Championship.

Suggs was the third Raven to win the award, joining Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Since 2000, a Raven has won the award four times (Lewis 2000, 2003; Reed 2004; Suggs 2011). No other team has had more than two such awards in that span (Pittsburgh).

While Suggs freely admits that the season was a failure without the Lombardi Trophy, this is a nice individual accolade to help ease the pain.

How Would John Harbaugh's Personnel Decisions Go Over in Corporate America?

January 31, 2012

What if John Harbaugh worked for you? Well, unless you work in the front office of the Baltimore Ravens and are currently reading this post — he doesn’t. But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you are Ozzie Newsome.

While the Baltimore Ravens are an escape for most residents in Baltimore, they’re also a billion dollar business. Besides smoking cigars at his office while counting his billions, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti looks at this franchise as a business and has done a marvelous job appointing people to run his company.

While still in shock of what may very well have been the worst week of Ravens history, I removed myself from the knee jerk reactions for a few moments and went back to my normal sales job. As I dealt with my own management team barking orders at me, it got me thinking.

Are the Ravens and John Harbaugh exempt from the same business decisions as those in corporate America?

What if John Harbaugh and the Ravens coaching staff worked for you? For this analogy, let’s look at it from the viewpoint of corporate America. Even if you’re not in sales, this analogy could probably relate to most any job.

For any corporation to turn a profit, they must increase revenue over that of their expenses. So for this corporation (Baltimore Ravens), turning a profit will depend on the strength of the Director of Sales (Head Coach),from whom the company’s message is then passed down to the management team (Coordinators) and then communicated to the sales team (Ravens Players).

The Director of Sales is hired by upper management (Ozzie Newsome) based on the confidence that they put your organization in the best hands to achieve their goal (Super Bowl). It is up to that Director of Sales to hire staff that he/she sees best qualified to make them successful. Ultimately, the Director of Sales’ (John Harbaugh) name is attached to the success or failure of the organization.

As in any company, if you don’t perform to your expectations, you are warned and reprimanded. For the Ravens, if their players aren’t performing to expectations, it’s up to their managers (Coordinators) to bench them or eventually make a decision to fire (release) them.

From a management perspective, it’s up to the manager (coordinator) to determine the group of salesmen (players) who will impact revenue (wins/success) as much as possible. It’s also the management’s (Coordinators) duty to train sales staff (players) on the marketplace (NFL Opponents) and what advantages you have (game plan) on the competition.

If specific managers (Cam Cameron or Jerry Rosberg) don’t create enough of an impact on their employees (Offense or Special Teams), they are to be held accountable for their misfortunes by their manager, the Director of Sales (John Harbaugh).

In any organization there is turnover. Some of it happens to be voluntary to leave for better opportunities. The Ravens got a taste of that when Chuck Pagano was hired as the new Director of Sales (Head Coach) of the Indianapolis Colts. If someone on your staff has performed above expectations, they are able to be promoted from within the company, which is what the Ravens did when they appointed Dean Pees as the new Defensive Coordinator.

The Baltimore Ravens are a contracted sales force. The main issue I have is that a thorough evaluation needs to take place to on the progress and development of their staff before a coordinator has their contract renewed.

For John Harbaugh to say that Cam Cameron would be retained is a foregone conclusion when Cam himself wasn’t even sure if he’d be retained is ludicrous.

This delusional Director of Sales said that his manager helped his sales team “flourish” in 2011. The four years Cam has been at the helm of the Ravens offense, the team has finished 18th, 13th, 22nd and 15th overall respectively. I don’t know what type of person gets to the position of Director of Sales accepting mediocrity. Last time I checked, 15th is middle of the road as far as total NFL rankings go.

With all this being said, for Harbaugh to say, “I don’t know that an announcement is necessary” after all the criticism from the media, fans, and his own players is just asinine and, to be honest, condescending and insulting.

If Billy Cundiff gets invited back to training camp after his atrocious season and has to kick for his job then Cam Cameron should be held to the same standards with his.

Anyone who’s ever been a part of a large company knows the “Crap Flows Downstream” motif. Sadly for the Ravens, it looks like horrific staff decisions are flowing downstream and it’s affecting on field production.

The team has already said that in retaining Cameron, a quarterbacks coach must be hired as well. Today, the Ravens announced that former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell will the team’s new Quarterbacks coach. Caldwell will report to Cameron.

Hiring Caldwell into the Ravens organization is equivalent to a motivational speaker in the corporate world. It may temporarily have an impact on the employees but for the most part it’s a temporary fix. All that Caldwell will do is keep some people off of Cameron’s back this offseason as the team prepares for anther mediocre performance on offense.

Cameron has shown he doesn’t respect the thoughts of anyone else on the offense (see: Jim Zorn) and Caldwell won’t come in and change around Cameron’s play book of Pop Warner passing routes.

In real life, some horrible managers may still win awards because they’re bailed out by great performances from talented employees; this could be said about Cameron ‘s tenure in Baltimore.

For the Director of Sales (Harbaugh) to retain a manager (Cameron) who’s never had a top 10 sales team (Offense) shows a problem with accountability at one of the highest levels of the organization. The fact that Harbaugh has turned a blind eye to those areas that have really struggled (Offensive Line, Special Teams and Offensive Coordinator) he may have created a hot seat for himself.

Ultimately, any business owner or upper management figure lives and dies by the performance of those he employs. If Harbaugh stays status quo or worse, there is a good chance that the customers of this corporation will react with their wallets, thus forcing  1 Winning Drive to have a makeover. If that happens, there could very well be a banner that says “Under New Management” within the next two seasons.

Reports: Ravens to Hire Jim Caldwell as Quarterbacks Coach

January 30, 2012

Reports are surfacing this morning that the Ravens are set to hire former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell as quarterbacks coach.

Caldwell, 57, was the quarterbacks coach in Indy from 2002-2008. How much he actually had to do with the success of one of the greatest football throwers of all time is certainly up for debate.

My reaction to the news can best be summarized as:

 

Pagano Going to Indy Anyway, Cameron…STAYING?!

January 26, 2012

As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Ravens’ season came to pretty much the most disappointing end possible on Sunday evening, now the offseason appears to be getting off to just as horrible of a start.

Entering the 2012 campaign, the #1 priority on the wish list of most Ravens fans is to see the team part ways with Cam Cameron and bring in a new offensive coordinator. A close second – as far as coaches go – would have been to retain defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, who returned the team to their aggressive ways and led the unit to the #3 overall ranking in the NFL.

Well, it was reported late Wednesday afternoon that Pagano will be hired as the new head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, after just a single year as coordinator. While Pagano was expected to get a sniff or two from teams looking to hire head coaches, most in Baltimore assumed that he was not quite ready to make that particular jump, and that he would return to the Ravens.

Ready or not though, it seems as if the possibility of Pagano/Luck becoming the next Belichick/Brady was just too much for Pagano to pass up.

Chuck Pagano is going to Indianapolis, just without the Ravens.

With Chuck joining the ranks of Marvin Lewis, Jack Del Rio, Mike Singletary, Mike Nolan, and Rex Ryan as defensive coaches that Ray Lewis/Ed Reed have gotten head coaching gigs, linebackers coach Dean Pees – a former New England Patriots defensive coordinator – seems to be the favorite in the locker room to succeed him on Baltimore’s staff.

Damn it.

On the other side of the ball, things look to be developing in an even more frustrating manner this week. In the Baltimore Sun today, Mike Preston is saying that Cameron is likely to return in 2012.

Meanwhile, according to a league source, Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron called the offensive assistants Wednesday morning and gave them instructions for the upcoming weeks, a sign that he will return next season.

Neither Cameron nor Ravens head coach John Harbaugh returned phone calls Wednesday night, but the source was confident that Cameron would serve in the same capacity with the only stipulation the Ravens hire a quarterbacks coach. Cameron served in both roles last season.

GAHHHHHHH WHYYYYYYYY?!

If you’re looking for someone to make some sense out of this, you’ll have to go elsewhere, because I am baffled. It was just last season that the team decided to FIRE quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn because they wanted Cameron and Joe Flacco to work more closely together. Now a year later they are deciding to keep Cam, only to throw another level of separation between him and Joe?

If you’re thinking “we’re spinning our wheels here, aren’t we?” I’m right there with you.

As fellow Ravens blogger extraordinaire Tony Lombardi points out over at Ravens 24×7, we really have no reason to believe that the offense will EVER improve from its current mediocre standing under Cameron.

Since Cam Cameron joined the Ravens coaching ranks in 2008, his offenses have ranked 18, 13, 22 and 15 overall in yardage. His passing offenses have ranked 28, 18, 20 and 19.

Prior to joining the Ravens and dating back to 2002 Cameron led offenses ranked 16, 14, 10, 10, 4 and 28 overall and 22, 19, 16, 12, 16 and 24 passing.

Is there any real evidence there that might suggest that Cameron can pilot even an above average offense or passing attack?

No, Tony, there’s not.

And I’ll tell you this – if this organization does indeed decide to retain Cameron, I will – for the first time that I can remember – lose a bit of respect for everybody involved, from owner Steve Bisciotti down to head coach John Harbaugh.

Can Cameron. Just do it.

 


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