I'm not going to discredit all the work offensive coordinator
has put in with Flacco. I just think after four years, Flacco had hit the ceiling in this offense and Caldwell brought some fresh ideas, including attention to detail, which have helped Flacco and the offense. You can't deny the influence Caldwell has had on the no-huddle and the offense looked like a legitimate
offense Monday night.
It's still early in the season and Flacco has to prove he can be consistent. We've seen games like this before, but Flacco has played well through training camp, preseason games and then into the season opener. I think Caldwell is a great liaison between Flacco and Cameron, and right now all three are working well together. Of all the guys who have worked with Flacco, I think Caldwell is the best and he might put Flacco over the top.
It's way too early to tell, but both turned in solid efforts against the
. The Ravens needed an injection of youth, and maybe they have received it with the two players. We'll have a better picture in the middle of the season, once teams start to scout Harewood and Osemele, and find their strengths and weaknesses. The Ravens might have to replace center
soon because he got beat pretty soundly Monday night against the Bengals.
Hi Dr. Ken. They made the change because they apparently felt Osemele and Harewood gave them the best chance of winning. Veteran left guard
, expected to be the starter, has been slowed by an ankle injury and didn't have an impressive training camp. The insertion of Harewood into the starting lineup was a surprise and he turned in a solid effort. Overall, the Ravens had some communication problems Monday night and I think the
will give them more of a challenge this week. The Eagles have some really good speed rushers on the outside.
As for Allen, he isn't just a running back but can make contributions on special teams as far as coverages.
I gave them an 'A' because the Ravens racked up a lot of yardage, points and played fairly well despite having two players in Harewood and Osemele who were starting in their first NFL game. This group still might struggle, but at least there's an upside to this unit now. The Ravens averaged 6.8 yards per carry against the Bengals. Considering that Cincinnati had a defense ranked in the Top 10 last season, it was a good opening win for the Ravens.
I would make that move with McClain if Ellerbe was a better overall player. Ellerbe is inconsistent, but a better player than a year ago. But let's not just single out McClain. Both starting outside linebackers
were non-factors. The entire Ravens defense gave up a lot of yards. Before we start moving players around, I think the Ravens should stay put as far as personnel and see if they can develop some continuity.
By the way, I think McClain can play outside. He covers a lot of range both inside or outside.
Flacco has a tendency to throw high, and sometimes that will get your receivers killed. We've seen that in years past when Flacco has thrown high even on short passes and screens. I suspect Dickson has one word he will remember this week in practice: DUCK.
JFR: Does anyone track red flag challenge calls? It seems to me that Coach Harbaugh seems to be very successful when he throws the flag. Credit to the booth? They seem to give him excellent guidance.
I don't recall what the numbers were last year, but Harbaugh has done well with the challenges. The key is getting good information from the assistants in the press box who are watching games. Also, it's tougher making challenges on the road because those teams are sometimes slow getting replays to the assistant coaches or up on the Jumbotrons.
Surfside Raven: Mike, if I were out and about in town and saw Jim Caldwell, how smart would it be for me to buy his dinner and make him comfortable in this town?