With so many playmakers now on offensive, the Ravens might have trouble spreading the ball around to all the good players.
The coaches are definitely going to find it hard when it comes down to offensive game-planning. Running or passing the ball is a critical decision that coaches must make. I mean it’s already a hard enough task, but Ravens coaches will find it even harder because of the weapons they posses in both the running and passing game.
Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason are both No. 1 capable receivers, so QB Joe Flacco is going to have a tough time choosing a favorite. Both receivers had similar stats last year— Mason with 1,028 yards in 73 receptions and Boldin with 1,024 yard in 84 receptions. It will have to come down to who the defender decides to double-cover or which receiver can get open more consistently.
We also have to consider Donté Stallworth and Mark Clayton, two solid backups. Stallworth poses a deep threat and Clayton has the quickness and hands to be an excellent slot receiver.
The ball can only be caught by one man per play, so Flacco will have to make wise decisions and balance out his targets to keep everyone happy.
As for the run game, we have Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and LeRon McClain all battling for more carries. This 3-headed monster helped the Baltimore Ravens become one of the best rushing teams in the league for the past 2 years; in 2008 they ran 148.5 yards per game and finished 4th in the league, then in 2009 they ran 137.5 yards per game and finished 5th in the league.
You can see how important the running game is to the Ravens. I’m sure the coaches know that, but how will they decide how to split the carries between the three? We all heard about McClain’s pleas for more carries through his twitter campaign, but have the coaches heard?
Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron simply said, ““Getting touches for the best players has never been an issue and it won’t be an issue this year.”
I’m assuming Cameron was referring to Rice when he said “best player.” In the end, it’s a lot more complicated than just handing McClain the ball.
There’s no doubt this upcoming season will give the front office some problems they’ve never faced before. Throw more or run more? To Boldin or to Mason? Which back for goal line situations? Tough questions like these are starting to arise and fans are left to wonder. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see come game time, because the coaches sure aren’t giving out any hints to the media.
Conclusion? I’m actually glad of these troubles. Having multiple playmakers will only make them more competitive. Many other teams don’t even have the luxury of two No.1 wideouts and a 3-headed rushing monster. If anything, these troubles are “good troubles.”