The Ravens playbook should open up significantly this season, much to the liking of the fan base. Cam Cameron has a track record of being a fearless play caller who likes to open things up and spread the ball around.
Last year the Ravens started a rookie quarterback and they were very conservative in their play calling because of this. Cameron tried to make things simple for Flacco and put him in manageable situations.
The biggest reason the Ravens offense lacked in explosiveness was because Cameron kept Todd Heap into block in order to help protect Flacco. This season however Heap should be a major factor in the Ravens offense and might revert back to his pro bowl form.
This offseason the Ravens brought in another tight end in L.J Smith, who is known for his blocking, and they drafted a right tackle. Both of these players will bolster the offensive line and should help Todd Heap run free to catch passes.
I look for the Ravens to take more shots down the field this season and Flacco will spread the ball around much better then he did last year.
The last half of the year last year Flacco and Mark Clayton developed a rapport that helped open up the offense. Clayton and Demetrius Williams are the Ravens big play receivers and they will help the offense.
Williams was injured for the majority of the year but everyone says he looked good in mini camp and they are confident he can produce.
Another major change in the playbook should be getting Ray Rice and Will McGahee more involved running and receiving. The team let Lorenzo Neal go and will move Le’Ron McClain back to his natural position of fullback despite almost rushing for 1000 yards last season.
McGahee is finally healthy and Rice adds that extra dimension of speed and elusiveness that makes him the "X- Factor" for this offense. I look for the Ravens to use a tandem back field in which Rice gets about 10-15 touches per game running and catching the ball.
A healthy Willis McGahee that reverts back to his 1200 yard for could put this offense over the top.
Cam Cameron ran a good amount of trick plays last season and instituted a version of the "wildcat" using Troy Smith and Joe Flacco. I expect more trick plays this season but less of the wildcat style of offense because of its overall in-effectiveness.
Mark Clayton is the team’s emergency quarterback so look for him on some reverses and reverse passes that should be effective.
The wildcat was effective the first time the Ravens ran it and then unsuccessful there after. The Ravens brought in John Beck to compete for the back up quarterback position with Troy Smith which tells me they either have given up on Smith or might be looking to move him to receiver.
Defensively the playbook will change but not that much. No defensive coordinator disguised blitzes and schemes better then Rex Ryan, but his departure should effect the defensive strategies a little.
Greg Mattison is a disciple of Ryan and has a similar style with almost the same personnel. Mattison is in his first season and he want to make a splash and show he was worthy of the job. I personally think the defense will be a little bit down because Rex Ryan was such a amazing game planner, but I think Mattison will do a fine job.
I expect this team to still stick to a lot of blitzing and look for Ed Reed to be more of a factor early this year then he was early last season. The key for the defense will be the secondary, most importantly how strong safety Dawan Landry responds from his injury.
I know Cam Cameron wants to open up the offense and most of the tools are there to do so. This offense should be better then last season and I think Todd Heap is in line for a big year.
This franchise has always played things close to the vest offensively, but I would be shocked be to see the same thing this season. The Ravens have finally turned the corner and are a balanced team.
This will be an exciting season to watch and Joe Flacco will emerge as a star.