Cameron says Flacco does have the freedom to call his own plays and make suggestions

But the Ravens offensive coordinator hints that Flacco still needs help

October 27, 2011|Kevin Van Valkenburg

On Wednesday, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco raised a few eyebrows when he admitted the team's hurry-up offense probably would go a bit faster if he were calling his own plays instead of looking to the sidelines and waiting for offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to send in the play. One of the Ravens most glaring weaknesses in their two losses this season has been their inability to move the ball quickly when they got down two scores and were trying to rally.

Cameron was asked for his take on Flacco's comments today during his weekly session with reporters, and he answered in a way that seemed to imply he'd like Flacco to reach that point in his evolution as well. He said Flacco has the freedom to call plays, or suggest plays, whenever he wants. But he also seemed to hint that it's not as simple as handing Flacco the reigns to the offense.

"I think that's something you always want to work for," Cameron said. "Joe and I have talked about that. He knows this and understands this. He can call any play that he feel he needs to. He can suggest one at any time. He's made several suggestions this year. He knows when he suggests one, I call it. I just believe in that. I come from that kind of environment where the quarterback gets involved in the playcalling. He's had a significant amount of input. And I'd love for him to do that."

But can Flacco handle that responsibility? Cameron said he believes so. But there are still going to be times when it needs to be a collaborative effort. Cameron tried to couch his answer by speaking in broader terms about young quarterbacks in general, not mentioning Flacco specifically, but it still offered some insight into the relationship -- and occasional tension -- between quarterback and coordinator.

"You always tell him is, you say 'Hey, you got it,' " Cameron said.  "The next thing you know, they need help. Sometimes what I've done with guys in the past, they look over, sometimes they need a play. I said 'Don't be afraid. Don't let your pride get in the way if you need an idea. You need a call, all you got to do is press a button and you can talk to the guy instantly.' It's something that obviously can work."

Both Flacco and Cameron chose their words carefully when asked about the subject, something that has both baffled and infuriated fans for several years, but it seems fair to read between the lines and acknowledge their not 100 percent in agreement about what Flacco is ready to handle. It will be interesting to see what it looks like this Sunday if the Ravens need a quick score.

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