Baltimore Sun staff members weigh in on the Ravens' decision to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replace him with Jim Caldwell.
Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: As much heat as Cameron has gotten over the past couple of years, today's news is still surprising. The Ravens don't usually make drastic moves like this especially at this stage of the season. But it's clear that the frustration by the team's key offensive players was mounting. Ray Rice was furious after Sunday's loss to the Washington Redskins. Joe Flacco has been frustrated the past three weeks, and was particularly miffed about how the team had gotten away from the no-huddle offense. I thought Cameron called a pretty decent game on Sunday, but the reality is this move isn't a knee-jerk reaction to one game. Flacco's lack of significant progression, coupled by Rice disappearing from the game plan at times, was ultimately what doomed Cameron.
Aaron Wilson, Ravens reporter: Cam Cameron's firing in the wake of a new contract after last season signals the frustration of this season and -- until Sunday -- a repeated unwillingness to put the football in the hands of the top playmaker, Ray Rice. Cameron has been on the hot seat before, and finally things boiled over and a change was made.
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Peter Schmuck, columnist: Don't know the exact moment that Steve Bisciotti and the Ravens braintrust came to this conclusion, but if I had to guess, it probably didn't help Cam's cause when the Ravens were unable to get a first down in overtime against a tired Redskins defense.
Matt Vensel, blogger: I considered writing this in "Five Things" for this morning -- I didn't because I didn't think the offense should be singled out in a 31-28 overtime loss that had costly mistakes in all three phases -- but it appeared that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had reached his ceiling under Cam Cameron. His development had flat-lined, which is a much bigger deal than Cameron forgetting about Ray Rice once every few weeks. It is a gutsy move by John Harbaugh, a loyal guy that stuck with Cameron despite a lot of criticism from fans and media. But it might just be what the Ravens needed to jar them out of their funk.
Edward Lee, Ravens reporter: Ever since last year's questionable decisions to veer away from running back Ray Rice as the centerpiece of the offense, Cam Cameron has been under scrutiny for his game plans. And while the team's transition from a defense-based foundation to an offensive one seems natural in a pass-happy NFL, the strategy to rely largely on quarterback Joe Flacco instead of Rice may have been Cameron's biggest vulnerability. To be fair, the team's decision to dismiss Cameron should be a resounding indictment of the players, too, that their execution and performances have fallen short of expectations. But as my colleague Matt Vensel pointed out, perhaps Flacco had hit his ceiling with Cameron and needed a new voice in his helmet. Maybe all the players did. Jim Caldwell will certainly get public endorsements from his colleagues and the players. Now the onus is on him to unveil what the offense can do against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Kevin Cowherd, columnist: Cam Cameron was the whipping boy for Ravens fans and the media for the past four seasons. Now all that pounding he took ends, ingloriously, after two straight Ravens losses. It’s probably a good thing for both Cameron and the team, although it smacks of a panic move. The Ravens don’t usually fire coordinators during the season, which tells you how worried they are about the offense’s inconsistency, especially after all the early-season hype about how improved it was.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: A 9-4 team on the verge of making the playoffs -- and winning the division -- should not be this desperate. This isn’t the Ravens we’ve known in the past to make wise, thoughtful decisions. Either the offense carries them deep into the playoffs or this move will be scrutinized for years. Scoring 28 points should be enough to win a game. Say what you want about Cam Cameron, especially over his use of Ray Rice, but he hasn’t been the one under-throwing Torrey Smith or getting the ball knocked out of his hands because he’s holding on to it for too long. Who will Ravens fans have to kick around now?