Ravens offensivecoordinator Cam Cameron is the architect of the league's No. 2 offense at themoment, with the Ravens averaging 424.0 yards a game. That is topped only byNew England (438.3).But if you thinkCameron is sitting back in his easy chair and figuring all is well, thinkagain."All ourguys would agree, we have not played our best offensive football yet,"Cameron said in his weekly news conference on Thursday. "We haven't playedas well as we're gonna play, and we think we're an improving offense."And first thingsfirst: Cameron said the Ravens need to do a better job of gaining yardage onfirst down. He pointed outthat against the Browns, the Ravens 13 times faced second-and-10-or-more. Inthe first three games, the Ravens had averaged eight such plays. Coaches like torefer to a 'schedule' in a drive. First-and-10 should, at worst, lead tosecond-and-medium and then third-and-short. Get the yardage, move the chains.
But when anoffense misfires on a first-down pass, or commits a first-down penalty,suddenly it is staring at second-and-long. "If we canstay on schedule, first and second down, so that we're third and manageable,we're going to be in pretty good shape, as most teams would be," Cameronsaid. Cameron said that against Cleveland, though, the Ravens had a half-dozen second-and-10plays, "a second-and-13, a second-and-14, a second-and-19, asecond-and-17, and you really don't score many points or win a lot of gameswhen you're doing that."That could be abig reason that the Ravens, despite having the league's No. 2 offense, rank22nd in third-down conversion at 34.8 percent."If we canjust eliminate the false starts, eliminate the penalties, eliminate those kindsof things, really unforced errors, that's the area we can improve in themost.""You can'tstop yourself first," Cameron added. "Defenses are going to stop youon occasion. You got to make sure you're not stopping yourself first."