|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
The Baltimore Ravens on Monday dismissed offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell.
Cameron's dismissal comes after the Ravens' 31-28 overtime loss to the Redskins on Sunday, their second straight defeat.
"My charge -- our responsibility as a coaching staff -- is to maximize the opportunities for our team to win, and we can still reach all of our goals for this season," coach John Harbaugh said in a statement announcing the move.Caldwell said that while their will be a new voice with the Ravens' offense there will not be a new approach. "Obviously, the Ravens offense is the Ravens offense," Caldwell said. "It's not a philosophical change. John sets the philosophy here with this team and we follow suit. We have a bunch of willing young men who are certainly do a tremendous job of pushing us forward." Harbaugh called Monday's decision "the hardest thing I've ever had to do as a coach."
"There is a very human side to this," he said. "Cam is my friend, he taught me a lot about coaching, and he is an outstanding coach."
But in making the move, Harbaugh said he was doing what was best for his team.
"It's not about fair or unfair, right or wrong," he said. "We need a change. Our plan and our goals are to win games, win our division and get to the playoffs."
The Baltimore Sun, crediting unnamed sources, cited the Ravens' inconsistency on offense and quarterback Joe Flacco's development, of which the team hasn't seen significant progress.
Flacco is scheduled to be a free agent after this season.
After scoring 21 points in the first half Sunday, the offense's first four drives of the second half ended with Flacco's fumble, his interception deep in Washington's territory and two three-and-outs.
"We kind of stopped ourselves today," Flacco, who completed 16 of 21 passes for 182 yards and three first-half TD passes, said Sunday.
The Ravens (9-4) lead the AFC North by two games over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Baltimore is ranked 18th in total offense this season.
Baltimore's running game ranks 17th in the NFL despite the presence of Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, who has topped the 100-yard rushing mark only three times (compared to six times last year). Rice led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2011.
Cameron, 51, joined the Ravens in 2008 after he was fired as coach of the Dolphins following a 1-15 season.
Caldwell, 57, was hired by the Ravens after being fired by the Colts after Indianapolis' 2-14 season in 2011.
Before taking over as head coach at Indianapolis, Caldwell spent seven seasons as the team's quarterbacks coach. Under his direction, Peyton Manning won three NFL MVP awards. In 2004, Indianapolis went 12-4 behind Manning, who threw for a career-high 49 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.