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Caldwell relishes chances to run Ravens offense

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Caldwell relishes chances to run Ravens offense

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Don't expect Jim Caldwell to incorporate the triple-option or a variety of trick plays in his first NFL game as an offensive coordinator.

Caldwell grabbed the reins of the Baltimore Ravens' offense on Monday after head coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron. Caldwell was in his first year as Baltimore's quarterbacks coach, a job he will retain moving forward.

For his first assignment as an offensive coordinator, the 57-year-old Caldwell will be asked to oversee and direct an attack that must outdo Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, whom Caldwell coached in Indianapolis.

``It may seem like a bit of a novelty, but it isn't.,'' Caldwell said Thursday. ``We both have a job to do.''

Caldwell takes over a unit that has is ranked 18th in total yardage and has been inconsistent throughout the season. With only three weeks to go, he intends to tweak the offense rather than overhaul it.

``Obviously there's not going to be a system change of any sort,'' he said. ``I'll add a few wrinkles here and there. For the most part, I think the guys are comfortable with what we do. I've got to find what best suits our personnel and utilize that. Do the things that we do best.''

Cameron was criticized for not using running back Ray Rice enough, and others questioned whether quarterback Joe Flacco showed improvement from a year ago. Caldwell wouldn't tip his hand on how he intends to utilize either player, but it appears as if he can't wait to put his stamp on a unit with plenty of weapons.

``The reason why I coach is that I have a great passion for the game,'' he said. ``I love a challenge. There is nothing about professional football that's easy. So it's going to require everything you have and just a little bit more. That's what makes me excited about what we're doing.''

His only wish was that this opportunity came under different circumstances.

``The situation is tough. I hate to see a colleague lose his job,'' Caldwell said. ``I've been fired a few times as well. That's the tough part of it. But nevertheless I certainly am excited about having the opportunity to work with some outstanding men in a great organization with outstanding people surrounding me. Let's see what we can do.''

Flacco, like many players on the team, was stunned to see Cameron dismissed - especially at a time when the Ravens needed only one more win to clinch a fifth consecutive playoff berth. But Baltimore (9-4) has lost two in a row, and with a defense depleted by injury, it was time for the offense to take charge and make things happen.

``I think as an offense, we have to look at ourselves and see what we can do to be better,'' Flacco said. ``Obviously, we weren't good enough.''

With Caldwell at the helm, things won't be much different - although he intends to work in the booth rather than on the sideline, as Cameron did.

``Anytime you've been coaching quarterbacks, the offense runs through you,'' Caldwell said. ``That's what I've always been excited about.''

Quite a change for a guy who was a four-year starter at defensive back for Iowa from 1973-76 and began his coaching career working with the defense.

``I went to the offensive side of the ball to get a good sense of balance and things of that nature,'' Caldwell said. ``I wanted to really know offensive football. So the great majority of the latter part of my career has been on offense. There's not anything that you should not know if you're coaching the quarterbacks because you're involved in every situation.''

Now, though, he will be responsible for calling the plays. Whether he maintains the job after this season remains to be seen.

``You know what? I don't look any further than the next day,'' he said. ``Nothing's promised to you. In the Bible it tells you that. What I do is do my job. We'll worry about the other things down the road.''

Caldwell was head coach at Indianapolis from 2009-11. He was fired after the team went 2-14 in 2011, but still harbors hopes of getting another chance.

``I think if you're in this business that should always be your goal. Right?'' he said. ``I don't think I'll ever lose that particular desire until the point in time when they run me out of this business.''

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Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

Proposed NFL rule change would eliminate Ravens' intentional holding strategy

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

It made everyone do a double-take, then it made perfect sense to non-Cincinnati and non-Pittsburgh fans.

Back in Week 12 when the Baltimore Ravens held off the Cincinnati Bengals 19-14, it wasn't a single touchdown that made national headlines. Rather it was a game ending safety that cut a seven-point deficit to only five. 

On the final play, numerous Ravens players held the opposing Bengals, who were setting up to receive punt, with 11 seconds left on the clock. Punter Sam Koch, just sat back, draining the clock before finally running out the back of the end zone with the clock at zero. 

SEE LINK FOR FULL RULE EXPLANATION

Thursday it was proposed to the NFL's Competition Committee to make plays like this illegal. 

While it may be considered unfair to some, making this new rule would simply add to an already expanding rule book and only be used for a select handful of plays a year, maybe. 

Eliminating cleverness of coaches that are well versed in the NFL rule book, should not be the approach of the of rule adaptations. There is no impact on player safety nor does it make the game 'more watchable' (like the extra-point rule).

Not only that, but the new proposed rule just leaves another set of loopholes for coaches to take advantage of at the end of a game. What if team trying to score on the last play commits two offensive penalties just to get another shot at the endzone?

But before making a massive overhaul to fix all of the loopholes in the NFL rule book, can we establish what a catch is first?

MORE RAVENS: Tony Jefferson used Madden to make free agency decision

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Ravens mock draft roundup: Mike Williams continues to pop up

Ravens mock draft roundup: Mike Williams continues to pop up

Just over a month away from the NFL Draft, mock drafts across sport media sites are beginning to narrow in on players that fit specifically into blaring holes on a team's roster.

As the first wave of free agency has come through, a majority of the top names at each position has been snatched up. While the Baltimore Ravens can still sign a handful of free agents on the open market, getting backup or a young star in a key position can be a the primary goal. 

Here's a look at who some of the various analysts have the Ravens taking with their No. 16 pick in the first round. The general consensus is help in the defensive secondary and at the wide receiver position.

DE Taco Charlton, Michigan, Ben Standig, CSN-Mid Atlantic

Standing: At some point the Ravens must find an edge pass rushing replacement for Terrell Suggs. Charlton might be better stopping the run than rushing the passer right now and yet he had nine sacks in 10 regular season games.  

SEE STANDIG'S FULL 2017 MOCK DRAFT

SS Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, Rob Rang, CBS Sports

Rang: With starting safety Matt Elam a pending free agent and Eric Weddle poised to enter his 11th NFL season, the Ravens may very well be looking for help in the secondary in the 2017 draft. Peppers starred as a linebacker in 2016 but possesses the agility and speed to handle coverage.

WR Mike Williams, Clemson, Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

Brugler: The Ravens have plenty of speed at receiver, but only average size. Williams has only average speed, but his body control, catch radius and overall size are where he shines.

WR John Ross, Washington, Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

Brooks: An electric playmaker with speed to burn would be a welcome addition to an offense that wants to play long ball with Joe Flacco at quarterback.

DE Charles Harris, Missouri, Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com

Jeremiah: Harris is a very productive edge rusher who is plenty athletic enough to drop in coverage if needed.

WR Mike Williams, Clemson, Chris Burke, SI.com

Burke: Baltimore has two receivers, Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman, who can scorch defenses deep. They need a physical, intermediate threat. Check.

CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, Peter Schragers, FOX Sports

Schragers: I seem to be a lot higher on Humphrey than other mock draft pundits. Oh well. I’ll ride with the star of the Alabama defensive backfield from last season. The son of NFL running back Bobby Humphrey, he was a stud at the well-known Hoover High and a prime recruit of Nick Saban’s. An opportunistic player who started for two seasons in Tuscaloosa, Humphrey forced three fumbles and intercepted two passes in 2016. Baltimore already has added Brandon Carr and Tony Jefferson to its defensive backfield but might not be done.

RELATED: REDSKINS MOCK DRAFT ROUNDUP