John Harbaugh takes big risk by firing Cam Cameron

By Gregg Rosenthal
Updated: Dec. 10, 2012 at 02:07 p.m.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs summarized the sudden dismissal of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in one word:


For coach John Harbaugh, the decision was a lot more complicated.

"There is a very human side to this. Cam is my friend," Harbaugh said, via on Monday. "This is the hardest thing I've had to do as a coach."

It's also the riskiest. Harbaugh is changing gears on offense with only three weeks left in the regular season. He's moving to an offensive coordinator in Jim Caldwell who never has called plays in the NFL. Anything short of a Super Bowl is a disappointment in Baltimore this year, and this bold move puts Harbaugh in the crosshairs.

"It's not about fair or unfair, right or wrong," Harbaugh said.

It's about production. The Ravens never decided what they wanted to do as an offense. They would feed running back Ray Rice like crazy some weeks, then go away from him too much. Joe Flacco's development, like the offense, has been uneven. The quarterback has expressed frustration with not going to the no-huddle offense enough, too.

The pieces on the Ravens' offense are talented: Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, two young tight ends and a solid offensive line. The consistency never came.

This is a move we expected in the offseason. Harbaugh is putting himself out front and taking a big risk by making the move in December.