Friday, January 10, 2014
Wake-up caw: Where Flacco did improve
By Jamison Hensley
As everyone has heard repeatedly, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw the most interceptions of his career (22) and was sacked more times than any previous season (48).
So, where did Flacco improve? His communication on the sideline.
"I thought he did. I think I saw that a little bit more," owner Steve Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun. "The fact that he is sitting on the sidelines gathering thoughts, and watching the play and wondering what he is going to do, it's just his way of doing things. I'm used to him being that way, so I didn't see him regressing. Actually, I was seeing him do a little bit more [communicating]."
What will help Flacco in this area going forward is a quarterbacks coach. The Ravens never filled that position after Jim Caldwell took over as offensive coordinator. While Flacco has a good and relaxed relationship with Caldwell (unlike the one with Cam Cameron), it makes sense to have a coach there solely dedicated to working with Flacco and the other quarterbacks.
Here's the rest of your wake-up call ...
Caldwell "felt very good" about his interview for the Tennessee Titans' heading coaching job, Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten told The Baltimore Sun. While the daily reports from Wooten to The Sun have always been positive, you have to wonder if Caldwell will get hired by either the Titans or Detroit Lions (the Washington Redskins filled their vacancy by hiring Jay Gruden). There seems to be more buzz about San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
The Ravens' 3.1-yard per carry average is the lowest in the NFL since the 2007 Chicago Bears, according to the team's official website. “To say we’re disappointed in the run game, no doubt,” general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “The history of this franchise has been our ability to run the football. Especially in the AFC North with the type of defenses that you face, you have to have the ability to run the football. We think that’s a friend to the quarterback when you have that ability, and that’s one of the things that we’ve already started to work on.”
The Baltimore Sun speculated that the franchise tag could be more expensive than previously projected for tight end Dennis Pitta. In his four games last season, Pitta lined up for 111 snaps in the slot like a wide receiver and 40 snaps as a traditional tight end. The difference between the tag for a tight end ($6.7 million) and a wide receiver ($11.5 million) is almost $5 million. If tagged, Pitta could file a grievance to get the wide receiver tag or compensation that falls in the middle ($9.1 million).