Ravens fire Jim Zorn

The Baltimore Ravens are banking on offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in a major way, firing quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn and inserting Cameron as his primary replacement.

The Ravens are definitely pushing their chips into the middle of the table with Cameron, who drew heavy criticism for a lackluster offense that failed to live up to expectations despite the presence of a former Pro Bowl player at every skill position except for quarterback.

Cameron was retained by coach John Harbaugh, but Zorn and offensive line coach John Matsko have been dismissed since the Ravens' crushing playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We've talked about this since the end of the season, and we believe this will help improve our offense," Harbaugh said. "Cam is noted for his development of quarterbacks, and that includes Joe Flacco and Pro Bowl players like Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. Cam is excited about this change and is looking forward to it." A former Washington Redskins head coach, Zorn was fired after just one season in Baltimore coaching quarterback Joe Flacco. He was fired Thursday following a meeting of several hours with Harbaugh. Zorn wasn't regarded an ideal fit with the rest of the staff. Privately, he was often described as quirky or odd in terms of his coaching style as he conducted several unusual drills. He did get along well with Flacco, though.

When Zorn wasn't brought to the Senior Bowl this week and remained in Baltimore to huddle with Harbaugh and Cameron, it was regarded as a negative sign about his status. "We were able to get Jim here for a year after his head coaching job with the Redskins," Harbaugh said. "He was able to help us get back to the playoffs, and we thank him for his contributions."

Zorn had a strong background in the West Coast offense and close ties to Cleveland Browns team president Mike Holmgren. He's expected to draw interest from teams.

One part of the disconnect with Cameron and Zorn was communication and the fact that Cameron is a disciple of the Don Coryell offense, which is built on the principles of power running and deep throws. Zorn didn't return a message seeking comment. Zorn replaced popular Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson, the new Oakland Raiders coach, last January when Jackson was hired as the Raiders' offensive coordinator.

Cameron will have help with the quarterbacks as offensive assistant Craig Ver Steeg will increase his role. Ver Steeg is a former offensive coordinator at Rutgers who has coached quarterbacks previously.

The Ravens ranked 22nd in total offense, dipping from 13th the previous year.

Flacco posted career-high numbers with 3,622 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and a 93.6 passer rating with only 10 interceptions.

However, Flacco struggled in the playoff loss to the Steelers with one interception and only 125 passing yards.

Heading into his fourth NFL season, this will be Flacco's third quarterback coach in three years.

NOTE: Authorities have confirmed through an autopsy that the dead man found in the Mississippi River is the younger brother of Ravens star free safety Ed Reed. The preliminary cause of death has been ruled an accidental drowning. Brian Reed struggled with mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems, according to the family.

Brian Reed jumped into the Mississippi River near New Orleans to elude police. He was 29 years old.

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