Ravens

Quick Links

Ravens' Caldwell still longs to be head coach

201301251235453482747-p2.jpeg

Ravens' Caldwell still longs to be head coach

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Jim Caldwell enjoys his job as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens, and he's quite good at it.

Before taking over in early December Caldwell had never held the position at any level - yet the Ravens' attack has flourished under his direction. Quarterback Joe Flacco has looked sharp, the play-calling has been unpredictable and Baltimore has scored 90 points in three playoff games to earn a berth in the Super Bowl.

Caldwell's success prompted head coach John Harbaugh to ask him to retain the post in 2013. Caldwell appreciates the opportunity, but has no intention of making ``Offensive Coordinator, Baltimore Ravens'' the last line on his resume.

The 58-year-old Caldwell wants to be a head coach. He did it in Indianapolis from 2009-11, and is itching for another crack at the top job in his profession.

``At some point in time, if the Lord wills it, I'd love to be able to do it again,'' Caldwell said Friday. ``But it may not happen. Everybody in our profession is looking for an opportunity to run their own program, and I'm no different than anybody else in that regard.''

Caldwell might have gotten the chance to at least interview for an opening if he wasn't so busy helping the Ravens earn a date with San Francisco in the Super Bowl next Sunday.

``I had a couple of GMs tell me, `If it weren't for your guys' success in the playoffs and continuing to play, then he would have been someone we would have interviewed,'' Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. ``Hopefully next year we're in the same spot, and it will be tough for him to get interviews again. Really, though, I can see him getting that opportunity a year from now.''

Caldwell certainly is a viable candidate for a head coaching job. He took the Colts to the Super Bowl in 2009 and was instrumental in the development of quarterback Peyton Manning. He's also provided the Baltimore offense with a boost after replacing the fired Cam Cameron on Dec. 10.

Some coaches are fiery. Some break clipboards to get a player's attention. Caldwell does none of that.

``Man, he is so humble, laid back,'' Baltimore receiver Jacoby Jones said. ``But he's a smart man. He reads a lot of books, gives you a lot of quotes. He's so diverse.''

The NFL's Rooney Rule was designed to provide diversity among NFL head coaches and GMs, but if Caldwell - an African American with impressive credentials - can't get an interview, then maybe it's time to fix the process.

``I do think that it's something that certainly needs to be revisited, and is going to be revisited,'' Caldwell said. ``I'm not one of the individuals that started that particular drive to do so. There's been a lot of very intelligent men that have looked at this thing and talked about it in depth, so I think that's going to happen.

In the meantime, Caldwell is preparing for the Super Bowl while dozens of other coaches are at home looking forward to next year. So, despite not getting an interview, he has no regrets.

``None whatsoever. I'd certainly rather be right where I am right now, with you asking me this question,'' he said. ``It just doesn't happen that often in your career to be fortunate enough to have this opportunity. I'm thankful. The other things, they'll take care of themselves somewhere down the road.''

Caldwell deserves plenty of credit for Baltimore's surprising run to the Super Bowl. In the six games since he's taken over, the Ravens have averaged 26.2 points and 406.2 yards of offense. During the playoffs, Baltimore has scored touchdowns on eight of 10 trips inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

``What coach Caldwell has done has kept the offense simple and basic,'' running back Ray Rice said. ``He put the game into Joe Flacco's hands, and Joe has done a great job - phenomenal job - of leading us to where we needed to be. We are right here where we want to be right now.''

And maybe, so is Caldwell. For now, anyway. He expressed genuine appreciation and thanks Friday when talking about being asked to return in 2013.

``I'm excited about it. Certainly very honored and humbled as well,'' he said. ``It's a great opportunity for me, in particular working within this organization. I'm looking forward to it, but right now I'm looking forward to this next ball game we've got coming up. That's the most important thing.''

Quick Links

Ravens defense digs too deep a hole in 33-28 loss to Chiefs on the road

ravens-chiefs-defense-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Ravens defense digs too deep a hole in 33-28 loss to Chiefs on the road

The Ravens needed to hold the Chiefs to eight or less yards to get the ball back. 

Faced with a third-and-9 in their own territory, the Chiefs dialed up a screen pass to win the game. Instead of nine yards, they got 16. 

On a day when the defense had trouble getting off the field, it was only fitting the Ravens couldn’t get a stop when it mattered most in a 33-28 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

“That play is really kind of a play that everybody on the defense is really kind of involved in,” Tony Jefferson said. “So we say, ‘Who’s responsible for the screen? Everybody.’ Back to the drawing board, we’ll look at it and see the things we’ve got to fix.”

The Ravens defense allowed 503 yards of total offense, a number they didn’t hit all of last season. The longest play was an 83-yard touchdown from Patrick Mahomes to Mecole Hardman to put the Chiefs up 20-6 in the second quarter. 

Mahomes finished the day with 374 yards passing and three touchdowns. His 374 yards passing was a number Mahomes needed overtime to hit last season.

“That’s an explosive, very good offense,” Jefferson said. “Mahomes did a good job extending plays, as we knew.”

Baltimore’s defense allowed 23 points in the second quarter as it had trouble dealing with Kansas City’s vaunted passing attack. But a problem that came up unexpectedly was the run, as the Chiefs averaged 5.4 yards a carry. 

The Ravens trailed 23-6 at halftime, but cut the lead multiple times to a one-score game in the second half. But the 17-point deficit was far too much to overcome, especially with an offense like Kansas City’s. 

“I thought our guys fought like crazy,” coach John Harbaugh said. “If we get a little bit better, we’ll win games like this.”

The game took a bit of a turn in the second half, as the Ravens continually went for two-point conversions in an aggressive game plan. They missed all three. 

They also went two-for-three on fourth down conversions, in an effort to keep their offense on the field and keep Mahomes off it.

“Analytically, when you look at the numbers, it’s not even close,” Harbaugh said. “In terms of percentage of chances to win the game. We believe in our offense, we’re going to try and get as many first downs as we can.”

And while the defense improved in the second half and only allowed 10 points, the damage was done as the Ravens offense couldn’t climb out of the hole left by the big halftime deficit. 

Even the aggressiveness of the offense couldn’t make up for the early halftime deficit.  

“We talked about it going into the game, that our offense was going to take chances on fourth down and we were ready for it,” Jefferson said. “We totally agreed with it, because we don’t back down from anybody.”

MORE RAVENS NEWS:

Quick Links

Stock up, stock down: Rating the Ravens after their five-point loss to the Chiefs

ravens-chiefs-lamar-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Stock up, stock down: Rating the Ravens after their five-point loss to the Chiefs

In a monster AFC matchup on Sunday, the Ravens weren’t able to get enough offense and enough stops on defense to earn the win. 

The loss drops the Ravens to 2-1 ahead of the Browns matchup on Sunday.

Here are a few players whose stocks are up and down after the loss.

Stock down: Pass defense

The Ravens defense knew they had a challenge to face against Patrick Mahomes. It’s likely they won’t see one like him again. 

Mahomes threw for 374 yards on 27-of-37 passing and had three touchdowns passing. He led an offense that scored three touchdowns in the first half, the same number it scored against the Ravens last season. 

It wasn’t pretty for the pass defense, as a blown coverage led to an 83-yard score which gave the Chiefs all the momentum they needed. 

Three receivers (Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Darrel Williams) had five or more receptions.

“Some of them (deep pass plays) were well executed by them,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The one touchdown was just played wrong by a certain player, that happens. So that’s what happened.” 

Stock down: Lamar Jackson

Jackson had the first rough game of his 2019 season.

He finished just 22-of-43 and had 267 yards. He looked impressive on the Ravens first drive of the game and bought time with his legs in the pocket, but faltered as the game wore on. 

Jackson picked his game up in the fourth quarter, but was aided by two throws that can only be described as Hail Mary throws caught by Seth Roberts and Willie Snead. 

“We let our defense down, I feel,” Jackson said. “I had a lot of throws I should have made, I feel.”

Stock up: Nick Boyle

The first of two positives on the offense, Boyle was the team’s leading receiver with four receptions for 58 yards.

With Mark Andrews (three catches for 15 yards) hobbled with a foot injury, Boyle was Jackson’s most consistent target over the middle of the field.

When Andrews returns to full health, Boyle likely won’t see the volume of targets he saw today. But it was a nice day for the Delaware product.

Stock up: Mark Ingram

The Ravens made a commitment to the run game on the first drives of each half, and it showed as Ingram tied a Ravens record with three rushing TDs in a game. 

Ingram finished with 103 yards on 16 carries — a 6.4 yards per carry average — and was the game’s leading rusher.

“I think it speaks for itself, we ran the ball well,” Harbaugh said. “Offensive played excellent, played tremendous I thought.”

Stock down: Two-Point Plays

Woof. The Ravens had three two-point plays, including one that came from the one-yard line, and weren’t able to score on any of them. 

They went for two up 6-0, down 30-19 and 33-28. They made none of those. 

Still, despite the result, it may not have been the worst decision to go for two points...

Stock up: John Harbaugh’s decisions

Hang in there on this one. 

The Ravens first decision to go for two points was due to the fact that they had the ball at the Chiefs one-yard line and thought they could punch in a quick conversion. The second decision was likely to cut the lead to nine, so that a touchdown and a field goal would win the game instead of merely tie the game. The final decision was to cut the lead to a field goal. 

Harbaugh said he doesn’t regret any of the decisions. 

“I don’t think we’re setting any tone, there’s no tone to be set,” Harbaugh said. “You’re trying to do everything you can to win the game. And when you get the ball at the one-yard line, it makes a lot of sense to go for two. Unless you’re playing scared, which we aren’t going to do.”

Stock down: Run defense

The Ravens allowed 140 yards rushing (5.4 yards a carry) to a host of Chiefs running backs. Williams and LeSean McCoy had 6.9 and 6.8 yards per carry to lead the team. 

Against Mahomes, knowing his deadliness passing the ball, the run defense had to be as sharp as ever. Unfortunately for the Ravens, it wasn’t as the Ravens could slow down the Chiefs ariel and ground attack.

Stock down: Linebackers

Patrick Onwuasor had a pass go inches above his hands in a metaphor for the entire afternoon. 

He, Chris Board and Kenny Young didn’t have their best days as the Chiefs were able to run the ball well all afternoon. 

Mahomes was able to fling the ball out to the flats early in the game, as his running backs ran free in the flat all afternoon long. 

Overall, the Ravens defense just had an afternoon to forget. 

MORE RAVENS NEWS: