When the Ravens announced after the 2010 season that Cam Cameron would return in 2011, head coach John Harbaugh said that he liked "Cam under fire." And on Thursday, as the Ravens prepare to face the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round on Sunday, Cameron admitted he was "jacked up" and "fired up" after he defended his oft-criticized quarterback Joe Flacco.
"Really, we can't get too hijacked by that kind of stuff," the Ravens offensive coordinator said. "The bottom line is that I think the world of Joe Flacco. We drafted him at the right place for the right reasons and you do your homework and you can see the greatness in this kid."
Cameron, who is arguably under more pressure than his quarterback this postseason, said there isn't one criticism of Flacco in particular that irritates him most. He said the scrutiny goes with the gig. He became most animated when a reporter asked him about Flacco getting a chance to silence his critics in these playoffs -- a question that seemed to hit home with the embattled coordinator.
"The bottom line is we're all shutting everyone up all the time these days. You have to," he said. "Joe's just one of those guys, he's got the courage to come out and say it. He's not going to give you just the standard stuff and that's what I love about him. But you've got to have a competitive spirit in you. We can say we all don't hear this stuff, but you cannot not hear it these days. It's all right there in front of you, so who's kidding who? Yeah, you get a little tired of it. But the bottom line is, hey, go shut people up. We've got to let our play speak for itself."
Cameron also got worked up talking about rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith and the team's other young skill players on offense. He said those youngsters are "a big part of why we're in the position that we're in," and he is excited to see if they continue to grow in the postseason.
“Can’t wait. Can’t wait,” Cameron said, inadvertently channeling his inner Bart Scott. “Because they’ve grown so [much] and now they have another new experience and they’re going to have to deliver. … I’ve said it all along about this young group, it’s the finest young group -- and I’m talking our tight ends, too, and wide receivers -- of following the lead of veteran players.”