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.
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.
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.