Joe Flacco has always been extremely diplomatic when reporters ask questions about his relationship with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. He has, for years, done his best to be as bland as possible, frequently saying he doesn't think their communication is any different than any other quarterback and coordinator relationship in the NFL. While they may disagree, the outside world never hears about it. And since we're left with a blank canvas, both the fans and the media are left to essentially speculate how much Flacco is allowed to change the plays, and how much he agrees with Cameron's offensive approach.
Flacco did, however, give an interesting answer -- at least interesting for him -- today when I asked him about the perception that the Ravens two minute offense is really limited by the fact that he doesn't appear to call his own plays. As the Ravens were scrambling to put points in the board late in the game against the Jaguars, Flacco repeatedly looked to the sideline, clearly waiting for Cameron to send the play in, and the speed of their communication appeared to frustrate a number of Ravens, including coach John Harbaugh as precious seconds ticked off the clock.
Would the Ravens two offense run faster if Flacco called his own plays instead of waiting for them from Cameron?
"I guess there is probably truth to that," Flacco said, and then paused as he chose his words carefully. "It's just how quickly can I think on my feet and get the play out there. I guess there is truth to that. It's just a matter of how we want to do it."
Having been around Flacco for three-plus years now, I think it's fair to say, based on that answer, he'd like a little more control in those situations. The Ravens hurry-up offense hasn't been particularly efficient this season, at least in terms of scoring quickly. After struggling for most of the game against Tennessee and Jacksonville, they were finally able to move the ball in the fourth quarter of both games, but they also burned up a ton of clock doing so. In both situations, they were down by more than one score.
It's clear the Ravens need to fix their running game. That should be primary focus this week. But in situations where they need to run the 2-minute offense, it's probably time to hand the reigns to Flacco. He's not a rookie anymore. It's time to give him the freedom, at least in those situations, to succeed or fail quickly instead of taking 20 seconds off the play clock every snap.