Jim Caldwell sounds a bit like a fan when he explains his priorities this season. As Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com reports, Caldwell is looking to improve early-down rushing and short passing, two areas that were popular areas of concern last season.
These certainly were areas of concern, as the Ravens were too predictable with their rushing attack. At times, they would completely forget about the run, while other series saw the Ravens run the ball every first down. Neither of these plans worked: The Ravens needed more variation.
Caldwell showed the play-calling ability necessary to find that variation, meaning the Ravens now need to focus on execution. They'll be looking to improve on their 4.2 yard average on first down last season, a number boosted by a number of long runs. Consistency will be key in this area.
Likewise, consistency will be crucial in addressing the Ravens' short-passing game. Joe Flacco's completion percentage has been below 60 percent each of the past two seasons, a number that has to change. The Ravens have never developed the short passing game to consistently pass the ball effectively, but that seems to be a priority of Caldwell's.
All in all, Caldwell is already off to a good start identifying and addressing the Ravens' offensive weaknesses. That should give fans optimism that the offense should at least approach its torrid pace from the 2012-2013 playoffs.