"We're going to play fast and do the things we do best," fullback Vonta Leach said. "He's been very informative about what direction, what he wants to do. ... He should add a spark."

For Caldwell, it's about striking a balance between Flacco's desire to strike deep, which hasn't worked consistently this season, and following a smash-mouth strategy behind the proven legs of Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice.

"One of the good things about our system is the fact that it's versatile," Caldwell said. "We can do whatever it takes. It just depends on who we are playing, how we want to attack them and what we think best suits our personnel. We kind of bounce in and out of it, but every game will take on its own personality."

This stretch amounts to an audition for Caldwell to be named the permanent offensive coordinator, but that's not his focus at the moment. He has plenty to deal with right away, especially the NFL's fourth-ranked defense headlined by pass rushers Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

"I don't look any further ahead than the next day," Caldwell said. "Nothing is promised to you. In the Bible, it tells you that. What I do is I do my job. We'll worry about the other things later on down the road."

In Caldwell's six years as Manning's position coach, the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player passed for an NFL-best 29,210 yards and 222 touchdowns with a 100.5 quarterback rating.

While the Colts' offense was intricate, Caldwell laughed when asked to characterize his offensive philosophy, replying: "Score as many as you can as often as you can."

With an easygoing nature, Caldwell already seems to be winning over the Ravens locker room.

Caldwell can become even more well-liked if his offensive ideas translate into high-scoring, winning performances for an offense currently ranked 18th in the league with an average of 344.4 yards per game.

"He's definitely a poised coach, a seasoned coach," offensive guard Bobbie Williams said. "He's very intellectual, he can get his point across. As a proven leader, he brings those things to the table."

awilson@baltsun.com

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