Hey Jamison: Ravens Q&A with Ravens beat reporter Jamison Hensley

September 23, 2010|By Jamison Hensley, The Baltimore Sun

Hey, Jamison,

Given the historical successes of the Ravens defense and the running game, should the Ravens begin to adjust to the "run to set up the pass" mentality every game? Maybe get back to the basics that have made them successful. It seems we are too anxious to throw the ball when they really don't have to.

Tony,Pikesville

Hey, Tony

This discussion reminds me of the start of the 2003 season, when Jamal Lewis averaged 4.6 yards on just 15 attempts in the season opener and everyone called for more carries. The next week, against the Cleveland Browns, Lewis rushed for a then- NFL record 295 yards. Now, this isn't guaranteeing a career day for Ray Rice. But historically, the Ravens love to run the ball down the Browns' throats. This should be a fun game for all the fans wanting to see the Ravens run the ball.

Going forward, the Ravens offense is still built for throwing the ball. Rice isn't the kind of back who will carry the ball 25 times. The Ravens have three of the best receivers they've ever had. So, "using the run to set up the pass" is a mantra that doesn't seem to fit the Ravens.

Hey, Jamison,

Flacco has not played well in the last three, maybe even four (counting New England), games — has he regressed or is he just not a big-gamer (yet)? What are the coaching staff's theories behind his lack of production, especially in big games, and the continuation of first- or second-year flaws: locking in on receivers; poor mechanics; holding the ball too long? Is the third year really a coming out party, ie: Peyton Manning/Drew Brees/Tom Brady/Philip Rivers 3rd year - pro-bowlers? AND, how much is the overrated O-line contributing to his lack of development/success? Thanks

Richard, Baltimorean now in Dallas

Hey, Richard

It's difficult to judge Flacco in two games this season. I'm not a Flacco apologist, but he's not the problem. He is just part of the problem. The offensive line had trouble protecting Flacco against the Bengals' three-man rush. The receivers weren't getting consistent separation. Flacco was forced to throw the ball out of bounds so often that coach John Harbaugh was the most targeted Raven on Sunday. And when Flacco forced passes, the Bengals made plays to pick him off.

This will be a critical time for Flacco. The best quarterbacks are the ones who can rebound from adversity. The pressure will be on Flacco. Based on his history, Flacco will deliver a strong game against the Browns.

Hey, Jamison,

I think the Ravens can be a very good team but I question the play calling. I would like to know what is so special about Cam Cameron. Correct me please if I am wrong , but didn't he go 1-15 as a head coach of the Dolphins ? If that is true then what is so intriguing about him and or his abilities to call plays offensively and why hasn't this question been raised before if it hasn't. I question his ability to make adjustments and also his cffensive killer instincts or lack there of. I think a man has to be strong as a man to be effective in this sport at that position.

Wil, Owings Mills

Hey, Wil

You're not wrong. Cameron was the head coach of the one-win Dolphins in 2007. But he was also the offensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers in 2007, when they led the NFL in scoring. He was also the offensive coordinator of the Ravens last season, when they finished ninth in the league in points scored.

Sure, Cameron should have given the ball more to running back Ray Rice last Sunday when the passing game was obviously struggling. It's just hard to argue Cameron's expertise over the long haul. The bashing of Cameron makes me scratch my head. Doesn't anyone remember the Matt Cavanaugh days?

Ravens beat reporter Jamison Hensley will answer readers' questions in Friday's Ravens Weekend section. To submit a question send it to sports@baltsun.com, using "Hey Jamison" in the subject field. Please include your name, where you live and a phone number so we can verify your question.

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