Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl Chances Will Be in the Hands of Cam Cameron
As the Baltimore Ravens broke for training camp on Wednesday, the aspirations of becoming a Super Bowl champion have not settled down one bit. Since its heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots, the Ravens faced plenty of drama in the offseason, beginning with Terrell Suggs suffering a serious Achilles injury.
The contract disputes with Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and Ed Reed created plenty of uncertainty around an organization that has been a consistent contender for the past four seasons. Six months later, the team couldn't be more positive heading into training camp.
They locked up Rice to a long-term extension and received a commitment from Reed for next season. Flacco will report and says he is not worried about his contract.
For the Ravens, the attention can now be focused on defending their division title and competing for a Super Bowl this season. How can a team that came seconds away from appearing in the Super Bowl finally get over the hump?
The answer is offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Certainly, Flacco will need to elevate his game for the Ravens to appear in a Super Bowl. However, the current offensive coordinator has held this offense back through his conservative play-calling and lack of a crafty game plan.
Could 2012 finally be the year that Cameron utilizes the talent around Flacco? Torrey Smith benefited from a full offseason by improving on his conditioning and route running. Anquan Boldin will continue to be a possession receiver and act as Flacco's security blanket while defenses are paying attention to Rice and Smith.
Flacco is also working with arguably the most underrated tight end group in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, who made a major impact when receiving more playing time and will improve the chemistry in 2012. Cameron has spent time this offseason focusing on the receivers, especially Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams, who are competing for the third spot on the depth chart.
Cameron needs to prove he can execute each weekly game plan in a similar way that he did in the AFC Championship game this past season. He allowed Flacco to utilize his ability when running play action calls and on multiple occasions had Torrey Smith beat against the Patriots defenders.
In fact, he gave all of the receivers and tight ends the opportunity to be involved late in the fourth quarter. Despite the memorable drop pass, Lee Evans was given a chance to make a huge play late in the game after being a non-factor for the majority of the season.
Cameron has been a veteran play caller and has coached Drew Brees and Philip Rivers during his time as an offensive coordinator. He has the experience of coaching talented offenses, and the case should not be any different in Baltimore.
Joe Flacco says he could see the Ravens being a top five offense this season. There is no question that the talent is on the roster for the offense to be among the five best units in the league. If the Ravens play up to their capabilities, they will hoist the Lombardi trophy in New Orleans.
In the end, this all comes back to Cam Cameron, a man who holds all the cards to the Ravens success in 2012.
Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist who has extensively covered the Baltimore Ravens for three years on BleacherReport. He has made appearances on ESPN Radio while also being featured on ESPN.com and CBSSports.com. Follow him on twitter.
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