USA TODAY Sports
The Ravens organization would be crazy not to keep offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell after the playoff sample size they have seen this post season.
Since Jim Caldwell took over for Cam Cameron as the Ravens offensive coordinator the offense is averaging 31 points per game, (minus the game in Cincinnati since the starters did not play). The offense looks more fluid and quarterback Joe Flacco seems to be even cooler under pressure and seems to be more aware of the pass rush for some reason, consistently stepping up in the pocket for big throws the few times it has crumbled around him this post season.
The Ravens averaged 417 yards in those games. They were averaging 344 yards per game previous to Caldwell taking over play-calling duties, quite an eye popping statistic considering the Ravens have played nothing but playoff teams since then.
Baltimore’s offense put up 21 points in the second half of Sunday’s AFC championship game in Foxborough, largely due to a mid-game shift of strategy to go to the air and challenge the Patriots linebackers and secondary. This was a decision made by Caldwell. Although it is unknown whether he planned it pregame or made in-game adjustments, the results speak for themselves and the Ravens are obviously better off for it.
Although many of the players and even Caldwell himself insist they are still calling the same plays and running the same offense that they ran while Cameron was coordinator you would have to be blind not to see the difference in the game plan.
Caldwell has made a major emphases on getting All Pro running back Ray Rice as involved in all games as possible, whether it be through the air or on the ground. Also we have seen an increase in the intermediate passing game over the middle of the field to bot the tight ends and the wide receivers.
We have also seen the Ravens line up in many more one back sets but continue to run the ball successfully. This does mean less work for fullback Vonta Leach but he is still finding ways to contribute in the new offense. However this makes the offense less predictable because with a two back set the team is much more likely to run the ball than pass and now the opposing defenses must prepare for both in every scenario.
One thing players have said is that Jim Caldwell has had a calming effect on the players and situations he has been around since joining the team, a far cry from the friction created by Cameron and Flacco. Maybe the calm dryness in Caldwell speaks more clearly to the same characteristics in Joe Flacco's personality.
This is Jim Caldwell's first time calling plays in the NFL level but he seems quite fit for the job, even on the games biggest of stages. He has been there and done that as a head coach as a head coach and a quarterbacks coach now he can add offensive coordinator to that list as the Ravens said they wish to keep him, not just for next season, but for the foreseeable future. This could mean big things for the soon to be very rich Mr. flacco. Flacco looks more and more Peyton manning like each week as he dismantles defenses from the shotgun weekly. the Ravens would be crazy to let Caldwell walk now.