Blog Entry

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:47 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 9:49 pm
Is Cameron responsible for Flacco's lack of consistency? (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Fair or not, quarterback Joe Flacco has been the Ravens' most scrutinized player this season. But that's part of the deal; as an NFL quarterback, he's the face of the franchise and in many respects, the most important cog in a machine built to win Super Bowls. Instead, 2011 has been marked by inconsistency. The results, predictably: fans have lost patience and the organization has yet to offer him a contract extension.

It doesn't help that he has thin skin and rabbit ears, even if he tries to joke that he doesn't pay attention to the criticism. But maybe this isn't all on Flacco.

That should be obvious but sometimes it's easier for fans and media to just wave their arms, lament the quarterback's ineffectiveness and not give it much thought beyond that. But NFL Films' Greg Cosell, who's Doug Farrar describes as watching "more all-22 film than anyone not currently part of an NFL coaching staff," has a theory for why Flacco has struggled at points this season.

"The Ravens' receiving corps could be the absolute worst in the NFL when it comes to getting open versus man coverage," Cosell told Farrar. "They don't do an awful lot to get them open versus man — you don't see a lot of the stack release concepts, or all the "man-beater" concepts. No bunch, no stack release. No rub elements.

After a win over the Texans last week, Joe Flacco and the Ravens will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship. Jason Horowitz and's Pat Kirwan preview this game. Watch the game on CBS at 3 PM ET. 

"They don't do a lot to help their receivers win versus man," Cosell continued. "I'm not going to defend Flacco, but I think it's very difficult to … it seemed that last week [against the Houston Texans] the route tree was a go route and a screen. I said this to one of my guys [while I was watching the Baltimore] tape — 'I feel like I'm watching a 1960s offense.' Every play, there was one receiver to the right, and one receiver to the left, often two backs or two tight ends, and that was every play, it seemed."

The other culprit is one familiar to Ravens fans: offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. From Football Outsiders' AFC preview:

"In this era of multiple receivers and shotgun spreads, the Ravens actually run a fairly conventional, old-fashioned offense. Our charting lists the Ravens using two wide receivers on 56 percent of plays, the highest rate in the league."

That doesn't exactly scream innovation. And it's fair to assume that this lack of innovation may have something to do with Flacco's stunted development.

One receiver who appeared frustrated with the Texans' man coverage concepts: rookie deep threat Torrey Smith. Instead of waiting for Cameron to devise a scheme to help him get open, Smith took matters into his own hands. He's intimately familiar with the Patriots. Partly from watching film, but also from -- wait for it -- facing them so often in Madden.

"The biggest thing about New England is my brother always picks them in Madden," Smith said according to The Carroll County Times' Aaron Wilson. "They pretty much always have the best offense for some years in that game. I play with the Ravens all the time now."

Smith also talked about last spring's draft process, one that saw the Patriots very interested in the former Maryland product.

"I pretty much did everything you could do with New England as far as the draft process goes," he said. "I met with them at the combine, did a private workout, and I saw them around a lot. They have a great coaching staff, and you can see with the way their track record has been they know how to win."

Of course, Smith already knew that. You know, from Madden.

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Since: Sep 16, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:56 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Cameron sucks. No doubt about it. But how is anyone here gonna defend Flacco? Up until this point he has never been very good. Remember him in the playoffs last year against PIT? Misses a wide open screen pass to Ray Rice that would of sealed the game with like 30 secs left. He's got Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Lee Evans, and Ed Dickson.. Not the best group ever but definitely one of the better sets in the league. Not to mention a pretty nice O-Line, a beast of a RB and...oh yeah, that D.

Face it folks, he's dilfer 2.0.... But Dilfer won. Hmmmmm....

Since: Sep 25, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:17 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

I guess the Pats O is the worst designed one in the NFL then, right? After all they run 2 TE sets more than anyone else. Their best WR used to be a slot WR.

Kurt Warner seemed to be able to utilize Boldin just fine. I guess Larry Fitzgerald also sucks now because Kolb can't get him the ball.

And Drew Brees and I believe Philip Rivers both did very well in Cam Cameron's offense.

It's the QB. A crappy QB makes everyone look bad. Crappy QBs make even good O-lines look like crap because they hold the ball too long and make bad reads. They make WRs look bad because they never hit the WR in stride so the WRs never look open. In the current NFL you throw the WR open, pretty much every WR is always open unless they're being covered by Revis, Reed, Bailey and sometimes Woodson (he's a bit slower now). The top QBs make the throws and suddenly the WR looks like he's open by 10 yards. The crappy WRs get open WRs, miss them badly, and then the defense closes and it looks like they're covered.

Watch the Rams have a solid offense next year. Watch the Jets and Ravens offenses suck no matter who coordinates them.

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:04 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense


Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:19 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

There is no reason for the Ravens offense to be as pitiful as it is. They have plenty enough of weapons to have a decent scoring offense. You have one of the best RB in the league in Rice. Williiams is a solid number 2. You have a solid possesion WR in Boldin. A great deep threat in Smith. You also have a great possesion and deep threat in Evans. Dickson has shown to be a viable TE and Pita as well in the red zone. So what is the problem here? Joe Flacco. He has been in the league long enough now to where he knows the offense and understands the pressure of being an NFL QB. It's put up or shut up time for Flacco. No more excuses for him

Since: Jun 13, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:43 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

The problem in my opinion isn't so much Flacco as it is the lack of personnel at the skill positions on offense,or at least the lack of depth.You got All-Purpose RB-Ray Rice,who as far as today's game vs New England is gonna be a key to keeping the ball out of Brady's hands.On the outside you've got veteran Anquan Boldin,who needs to be a presence on intermediate routes.On the other side Torrey Smith has become the deep threat to keep opposing defenses from stacking the box on every play.TE-Ed Dickson had 2 monster games in a row just before the regular season ended & as someone mentioned they also have TE-Dennis Pitta,who isn't a huge factor in the passing game.They have no choice today;they have to play with what they've got & I think a lot of dinkin & dunkin to Rice,Dickson & Boldin & a heavy dose of Rice rushing the ball is the key to beating the Pats.To do this it's imperative that the O-Line does their job by opening holes for Rice & mass pass protect for Flacco.That's my opinion on how Baltimore can be successful on offense today.

Since: Apr 25, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:06 am

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Hate to say it Mr. Ryan Wilson, but why don't you read some of these comments before your next column you put online. Because you have everyone who has commented on this page calling you out for not looking deeper into the games played this season. I really don't understand why people think it is Flacco. It is the fact that Cam Cameron has always been a conservative play caller worse than Garret in Dallas. And Flacco plays top defenses every year. Trust me Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith will be tracking on twitter all day tomorrow because that is going to be the big thing tomorrow.

Since: Jan 25, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:11 pm

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

2 tight end sets and throw three wide once in a while and this guy will be ok. O.C. is gone before next season or it's more of the same for ole flacco

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 7:56 pm

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Hey, I'd be thin skinned if I was getting all the sh*t that Flacco has for performing the tasks that he has been assigned effectively.  Watch the Texans game real-time and again on the NFL channel quick rebroadcast and Flacco executed the plays that were called. Texans D didn't amke it easy, but he didn't make a lot of mistakes.

Question is, if you have a better pla caller than Cameron, can he execute....  He looks like a 4th to 10th best QB kinda guy. Probably can make a better offense hum. Just won't happen tomorrow unless Cameron has had a brain transplant.

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:18 pm

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Take into account Ravens offense had face the top 10 defenses 12 times this year, most in the NFL. and are STILL 10-2 against those teams.  Do better writing or get another job.  Whats your story going to be when the poor 1960 offense destroys the WORST AFC defense?  Pile on the wagon then.  I'll take the Raven offense this week instead of the Packers or Saints. At leats they are playing while your GREAT offenses are watching TV Sunday.   

Since: Mar 5, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:11 pm

NFL Analyst: Ravens look like 1960s offense

Hey analyst Ryan, Buddy,   how bout this?!  Patriots defense looks like 1960's.  Pitiful!!

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