Caldwell helps coordinate boost in Ravens' offense

Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:24pm EST
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - John Harbaugh's surprising mid-season change at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens might have been less dramatic than the switch his brother Jim made with the San Francisco 49ers but it was no less successful.

John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator in December and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell in a move that sparked a scoring boost and helped the Ravens reach the Super Bowl.

Jim Harbaugh made the bold decision to permanently stick with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick after he filled in for just one game for injured starter Alex Smith.

John Harbaugh's decision had a positive effect on his established quarterback Joe Flacco, who has gone through the postseason with eight touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Caldwell, who joined the Ravens after being fired as head coach of the Colts after the 2011 season, took over after the Ravens' losses to the Steelers and Redskins.

In his first game, Baltimore were pounded 34-17 by the Denver Broncos but things quickly improved once everyone began to understand his methods.

As the coordinator, Caldwell encouraged an exchange of ideas and Flacco responded with a brilliant run that has taken the team to the February 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans even though they did not always agree.

"You can have honest conversations and grow your relationship," said Flacco, who seemed frustrated at times with the Cameron-led offense.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano throws a football during practice drills at training camp in Baltimore, Maryland in this August 6, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Joe Giza/Files