Harbaugh says retaining Cameron was “a forgone conclusion”

During yesterday’s press conference to announce Dean Pees as the Ravens’ new defensive coordinator, both Pees and head coach John Harbaugh made opening statements and then the floor was turned over to questions from reporters.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first inquiry tossed at Harbaugh was relating to Cam Cameron.

Hey, the fans want to know and the media wants to know, as well.

Cameron’s job status appeared to be up in the air as the Ravens’ season came to a close. His contract was set to expire next month and his offense, while successful down the stretch, hit some rough spots this season.

But according to Harbaugh, replacing Cameron was never an option. The Ravens said yesterday that their offensive coordinator of the last four years will remain in that role going forward.

“An announcement is not necessary,” Harbaugh said. “Cam has been our offensive coordinator and will continue to be our offensive coordinator.”

While Cameron has come under fire at times during his Ravens tenure, keeping him around made sense for a couple reasons.

With Chuck Pagano leaving to become the Colts head coach, it would have been tough to break in two new coordinators next season. Rarely do you see teams switch up both their top offensive and defensive playcallers when they were just one play away from the Super Bowl.

In addition, the Ravens were pleased with the way their offense progressed this season despite some new personnel and injuries along the offensive line.

“It was a forgone conclusion to me, Harbaugh said. “If you watched the way our offense played this year and the job that our players did on offense and the coaches did, I was excited about it. It was a good year. We turned a lot of things over on offense.

“We had young receivers out there for the first time, we had new tight ends out there for the first time and the left side of our offensive line was new for most of the season. I thought our players and coaches did a great job. They fought like crazy, got the job done and won 13 games. That’s the bottom line. I’m proud of our guys.”

It’s unclear how long Cameron’s new deal will run, as the terms of his contract haven’t yet been worked out.

Cameron will definitely return in 2012, though. We know that much.

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