After I finished watching the live stream of Thursday’s “State of the Ravens” address I think that I finally got a real idea of why the Ravens offense struggled so much in 2010.
From Top to Bottom there was never a consistent plan on what this “new” Ravens offense was supposed to be.
This is what I pieced together and I’d be glad to hear your thoughts.
I’ll start down the line in the chain of command with Cam Cameron. The man who’s job was essentially saved by John Harbaugh when he claimed that he had a plan to revamp the offense and that plan involved Cam “under fire”. In retrospect I’m not really sure what that means. Did Cameron not realize that of you don’t produce at your job you get fired? But anyway let’s talk a bit about the type of offense the Ravens run.
Cameron is a proponent of the Don Coryell Offense or what is also known as the Vertical Offense. It was pioneered and developed by coach Sid Gillman in the late 60’s. But I would better recognize it most from the Chargers teams of the 80’s with Dan Fouts slinging the ball to Kellen Winslow and John Jefferson. The offense is a combination of deep passes and power running. It relies on getting all five receivers out into patterns that combined stretched the field, setting up defensive backs with route technique and the Quarterback throwing to a spot on time where the receiver can catch and turn up field. Pass protection is critical to success because at least two of the five receivers will run a deep in, skinny post, comeback, speed out, or shallow cross.
Of course with any offense there are many variations and some of it’s most famous proponents – Mike Martz, former Ravens coach Al Saunders, and Norv Turner each have their own wrinkles within the system.
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