Examining Flacco’s role in the two-minute play-calling

During his Wednesday afternoon session with reporters, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco admitted that one area the team can look to improve following Monday night’s loss to the Jaguars is the pace of the team’s two-minute offense.

Flacco said that the Ravens could probably do well to speed up their two-minute looks, which have lagged in recent games when the team has needed a late score or a spark.

The fourth-year quarterback was then asked if it’s true that the two-minute offense would move quicker or be more efficient if he called his own plays at the line of scrimmage, instead of getting them relayed from the sideline.

“I guess there’s probably truth to that,” Flacco said, after taking a brief second to think over the question. “It’s just how quickly can I think on my feet and get the play out there. Yeah, there’s probably truth to that, it’s just a matter of how we want to do it.”

Joe_Flacco-Cam_Cameron-sidebar.jpgThe idea of Flacco calling his own plays during hurry-up scenarios - a practice that many teams with veteran quarterbacks employ - is one that fans seem to have embraced. Many feel that, given this is now his fourth NFL season, Flacco deserves to have more of a say in the play-calling in some situations, especially ones where time is a factor.

Today, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was asked about the idea of giving Flacco more freedom when it comes to the two-minute play-calling.

“I think that’s something you always want to work toward,” Cameron said. “He and I have talked about that, and I think Joe knows and understands this: He can call any play that he feels that he needs to. He can suggest at any time ... he’s made several suggestions this year. And he knows when he suggests one, I call it.

“I just believe in that. I come from that kind of environment where the quarterback gets involved in the play-calling, and he’s had a significant amount of input. Would love for him to do that.”

It’s clear that Monday night, Flacco was not calling his own plays when the Ravens were in their two-minute offense late in the fourth quarter. He was turning to the sideline, waiting for the call from Cameron and then relaying the play to the rest of the offense, a process which often took 15-20 seconds off the play clock and appeared to frustrate head coach John Harbaugh.

While the Ravens might look to give Flacco more of a role in calling the plays in that situation going forward, as Cameron indicated, the question is why he hasn’t been given those reigns already.

Do the Ravens not trust Flacco to make the proper calls in those spots? Have they tried it in practice and not been happy with the results?

Or are the coaches merely unwilling to hand over the proverbial keys to the two-minute car?

Regardless, if the Ravens are in a similar spot down the road, the pace of the offense will need to improve.

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