Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron went on the offensive Thursday, defending the Ravens offense’s pace of play in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans and arguing that cohesion and execution were more crucial than speed.
Since the 26-13 setback to the Titans, the Ravens have been criticized for not employing a no-huddle offense or accelerating their pace of play in the fourth quarter as they trailed 23-10.
During his weekly briefing, Cameron cut a reporter short, seemingly predicting the question about a lack of urgency on the part of the offense.
“Here’s exactly what happened, and I don’t know whether it’s worth questioning or not because we’ve gone two-minute as early as the middle of the third quarter – in Minnesota three years ago,” Cameron said. “It was a two-score game, and it was almost 13 minutes, and my thinking was – and I pulled the whole offense out there – we’re going to run our two-minute package per se, but we’re going to huddle. I think the most important thing is when you have that much time, you’ve got to get the first touchdown. You need to score and make sure that everybody is on the same page. And I think until this group has been together a little bit longer, you want to make sure you’re on the same page – first and foremost – so that you can get that first touchdown. And we had the opportunity to, and a couple things we didn’t get executed, the clock got away from us right at the buzzer one time that set us back.
“I’m sure you can make that argument,” he continued. “But the bottom line is, we’re doing OK if we score there because now you’ve got plenty of time to stop them and go score again. But I would say over 12 minutes, you can debate that here or there, but we were running the package. We just felt like we wanted to huddle and make sure that we were all on the same page so that we could move the ball.”
On Wednesday, quarterback Joe Flacco sounded ambivalent when asked about the offense’s pace in the final quarter.
“I don’t know what to really say besides that’s what we were doing,” he said. “I guess that was the plan. It’s not really my job to kind of question it and say that we weren’t. We needed to go down there and score a touchdown, and we didn’t score a touchdown. I did ask about maybe going for it on fourth down there rather than kicking the field goal, but it’s what we decided to do. We can’t really question that. We have to look ahead.”
Cameron reiterated that he thought there was enough time to be patient and execute without hurrying up.
“If that’s under 10 minutes, that’s a two-minute deal, for sure,” he said. “It’s kind of right in that gray area. I just wanted to make sure that we were all on the same page. We hadn’t played that great prior to that. So you really just want to make sure that you’re on the same page. … And I thought we were on the same page, except for one play. And it cost us. I think we got that corrected, and hopefully, we can execute better earlier in the game so that we don’t put ourselves in that position.”