Cam Cameron, in his own words

OWINGS MILLS -- Questions and answers with new Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron:

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron Opening statement:

"Good afternoon. How's everybody doing? Well first, I just want to tell you how excited I am, as well as my family, to be coming to Baltimore, and just really looking forward and excited to be a part of a staff that they're putting together there with John Harbaugh. I'm just really excited to be with you."

On his thoughts about revitalizing the Ravens' offense:

"Well, I've gone against the Ravens for a few years and we've played them a couple times when I was in San Diego. There'll be a lot of evaluation over the next few months, and I'm just looking forward to evaluating the personnel that we have and all the personnel we have coming back and getting to work on the fundamentals and the things that really make an offense go. So, it's really about those things. I'm just looking forward to getting in there and getting back to all the tapes and the season and making the assessment with the rest of our offensive staff so we can build from there."

On what he saw in QB Troy Smith when the Ravens played against the Dolphins:

"Obviously, I've followed him since he was in high school, and obviously through college, and there wasn't anything that I think I saw in that game that I hadn't seen before. That'll be fun to go back and look at the time he did get to play, as well as the other guys. I think these next few weeks and months, it's going to be a good time to go back and look at all of the personnel and make those assessments and then try to build from there."

On his thoughts about what John Harbaugh brings to the table as a head coach:

"No. 1, I've known John for a long time. We've coached together before, and in my view it was just a matter of time before he became a head coach in the National Football League. And then for me, for things to come together and for me to be a part of it, as I said earlier, is exciting.

He's extremely bright, one of the hardest working coaches that I've ever been around. He's a great gameday coach, great teacher – just all of the things that you look for in a football coach. I know the players are going to enjoy playing for him. I know we as assistant coaches are going to enjoy working for him. And, I think he brings a team concept that I know I'm excited about being a part of."

On if he thinks the pieces are in place with this offense to take the next step:

"Well, I know it's that time of season when some guys are taking some time off, but it's not going to be long before you get back to what really matters. And, that's getting back to working in the offseason programs, the weight room, the skills guys working together on their own.

There are a lot of things that go into putting together not only a good team but a good offense. There are obviously some things in place; I don't know that commenting on those right now really serves a purpose other than that there are some things in place. The important thing is how much we can improve when we get back in our offseason program and how hard we're willing to work – those types of things."

On where he is right now, and how many teams contacted him for their offensive coordinator job:

"Actually, I'm just going to get my family and take my family out. The exciting thing for me is the Baltimore Ravens reached out to me early through the process, and I think that's the important thing. I've had a tremendous amount of respect for the organization for again, having competed against it and knowing that they've won at the highest level. So really, that's the important thing. But, it was nice that they reached out to me early, and again, between John [Harbaugh] and Ozzie [Newsome] and the organization, I'm glad they came together."

On how last season's experience with Miami impacted his decision to take this job with the Ravens instead of taking time off:

"Well, it's interesting. I grew up in this profession and I've never taken any time off in the profession. So, that's probably the first thing. I think the thing that most people can relate to [is that] in life we all get stung on occasion. If you're in the National Football League as a coach or a player long enough, you're going to get stung. But the sting is going away and the important thing is now I'm part of the Baltimore Ravens, and I'm really just sincerely – my family as well – we're sincerely looking forward to being there."

On his success with the Chargers and how he hopes to have similar success with the Ravens:

"Well, I've been very fortunate to be around a lot of good players and a lot of good quarterbacks. I've probably learned as much from the quarterbacks I've been around as they've probably learned from me. I think the good systems take what they have, maximize the players that they have, and at the same time continue to develop the guys that they have to work with.

Again, I've just been fortunate. I don't think I've ever really bought into comparing players, just because I think all of them are unique. But I think the system does have a good feel for developing quarterbacks. I think the system knows how to utilize backs, tight ends, receivers. The core of the system is the offensive line, so for that, we know how critical that is. To compare them probably wouldn't be fair, but I know I'm excited about the starting point we have."

On how much input he will have in forming the offensive staff and when he plans on having it together:

"It'll be John's staff and I'll follow his lead. Again, the fact that we have a long relationship, I think, helps. We know a lot of people in the league, but John's a guy who's not afraid to go out and just look for the best coaches. So I'll follow his lead and support him and what he needs done and probably be a part of the interview process."

On how therapeutic it is to go from his situation with the Dolphins to have a job with the Ravens in a short period:

"Well, I've never thought it was about me. I'm excited to be a part of a team and an organization. That's the way I see things. It's nice that it did come together quickly so my family can have some direction. But again, as I said earlier, everyone gets stung occasionally in life and it's good to learn from it and get back up. You move forward, you make the best of it. I think that's the important thing, and I'm excited about moving forward, as well as I know the Ravens are."

On his initial reaction and how he dealt with losing his job in Miami:

"Having grown up in the profession, this is what I love to do. It's what I feel like I'm called to do, and it's such a blessing to be able to coach in the National Football League. I've always respected the game, respected the league, respected the players and coaches in the league. People talk about time off and all those things; you've got to be kidding me. This is what I've dreamed about doing since I was a kid. I'm blessed to be able to do it, and I'm glad that I get to continue to do it."

On what role he sees QB Kyle Boller playing in his offense:

"There's really going to be a lot of time in the next few weeks and the next few months to just assess the season. I think there's going to be an appropriate time to answer that. Right now, we're going to get some other things in place and get some things assessed, and then I'm sure we can talk about that at some other point."

On if he was contacted by the Ravens prior to John Harbaugh's hiring, or if Harbaugh made first contact:

"Knowing that John was involved in the process, and again, we've worked together and we've known each other, that was the extent of it."

On how much an offense's success is attributed to the talent as opposed to the system that the talent is in:

"It's a good question. I think it's both, I really do. I think I've seen a lot of players, first-round pick players, come into this system and flourish and win games and go to Pro Bowls and do all those things.

Guys, that are undrafted free agents come into the system, work hard in the offseason, develop their skills, and then we utilize the talents that they have and they've gone on to win championships and play at a Pro Bowl level. So I think it's a combination of the two. I don't think any system is just going to make a player, and I don't think that any one player is going to make a system. So I think it's a combination of the two."

On how much he will rely on John Harbaugh for input with the offense:

"I'm glad you asked that question, because I've had so much respect for him over the years, and [I] watched him play. Those are things I'm sure that John can answer, and I'm sure that Ozzie [can answer] when we get together again. I haven't been to the complex for the last couple of days, so those are things that I'm sure will be resolved down the road."

On how he intends to make the offense more "open" than it has been in the past:

"Again, I think it goes through a couple things first. One is going through the assessment of where we are. In some cases, you'll know a little bit more about that than I will, but it won't take me long to get through all that.

Then it goes to starting the offseason and evaluating and seeing it with my own two eyes and working with our staff, with the players that we have. Then you just evolve from there. Am I going to make a lot of promises? I know we're going to work hard. We've got a plan. We've got a system of offense that we like. I can't ever remember having to make a whole bunch of promises, offensively. We just have to let our play speak for itself."

On balancing the power with John Harbaugh:

"There's no concern at all. I know what I'll do offensively; John will be a great resource. He's coached offense before. Obviously, he's coached defense. He's got tremendous expertise on both sides of the ball, as well as special teams, which I think really makes him unique in a lot of ways. The one thing I understand is that it's the head coach's offense, it's the head coach's defense, and it's the head coach's special teams.

We work with them in those things. Sometimes the head coach can give you a different perspective and see things that you can't see. Sometimes, you can get in so close that you miss something, and John will be a great resource. [With] our relationship, I know he won't hesitate to make suggestions, and I think that's the way it works best. I'm looking forward to it."

On how he feels he has evolved since he's been in the NFL:

"At one point in time, you talked about running the football; you talked about creating balance. Now, the things that really affect you in terms of your system are the rule changes. Some of the rule changes the last few years that relate to illegal contact and how they officiate holding and a lot of those things, as you can see, have affected offenses.

People are able to spread people out more. There are some things that are taking place in our game that it will be interesting to see if our personnel can fit into some of the things that other people are doing. That's the assessment that I kind of talked about – looking at our personnel. So, as the rules change, usually the game starts to change. The college game has changed tremendously; I think that's had an effect. It's good. You're seeing a style of football I think people really enjoy watching. It's fun to coach, I can tell you that."

On what he thinks of the health of QB Steve McNair:

"Again, that whole assessment, that whole process, is going to take place. I'm looking forward to doing that with John and Ozzie and our staff. I think the minute you start trying to predict that kind of stuff… I know there were a lot of those predictions going around the last couple of years in Green Bay, and then we all saw what happened [with Brett Favre in 2007]. So, I think you just see where guys are, get a consensus, and I'm sure all those things will come to light over the next weeks and months."

On why he chose to come to the Ravens: "Well, several things:

Obviously, the respect I have for the organization and the leadership of the organization. That plays a huge part in that. But, to get the call from John and the respect I have for him – and then Ozzie, to get call from him as well – things just evolved over the last couple of weeks. You go with a gut feeling, and I think you guys know that this place is special, and I'm just excited to be a part of it."

On if he anticipates calling the plays: "Well, yes. Obviously, you rely on your entire staff when it comes to play-calling, but I'll be calling the plays. I think that's the important thing."

On how he has changed in the last year:

"I strongly believe that you just continue to grow. You continue to get better. How you do that is you just continue to work hard and learn. And you learn from mistakes you make. Anytime you're trying to do something great, you'll make mistakes, you'll learn from them, you'll grow from them, and that's the way I still approach it.

I approach it that way today. That's how I'll approach it in my time there, continually try to get better as a coach everyday, get our staff to continually get better, our players to get better. You have to continue to improve in the National Football League. It's just too competitive if you don't. "

On anything he'd like to say to the fans in Miami:

"My family and I are excited to move on to Baltimore. We're very appreciative of the way that people [in Miami] treated [us] – especially my family. I would say, ‘Thank you very much' for the respect that we were treated with there our entire time. I just want to say thank you."

On the talent here in Baltimore seeming similar to the talent he started with in San Diego:

"I would agree with a lot of the things you just said, however now is the time of year that most of us are stepping back and reflecting on last year. Then you kind of take a deep breath, and you start to just go back and assess. I'm looking forward to that process. That's an important thing: Go back and really look at it. Look at it through 16 games, and see which guys can do things consistently over extended periods of time, the areas they need to improve in. The improvement plan in the offseason is obviously important. [We'll] really start to factor those things in some time down the road."

On how much he will rely on the input of veteran players:

"There will be a lot of communication. What we'll do is, we'll sit down with guys [and] talk about things they feel they're doing well [and] the things they think they need to improve on. What are their goals? What are their individual goals? What are their goals within our offense? And [I'll] then give them, at the same time, my assessment. I'll go through, as well as our staff will go through, all the games. [I'll] just talk to them. If there's something they might want to improve on, and take that approach, I think that's the important thing.

They'll have a lot of confidence in what we'll do. A big part of what we'll do is get everybody involved. That's probably the most important thing, in getting everybody to understand everybody is going to have a role in what we do. It's a team concept. As you heard John say, ‘It's the team, it's the team, it's the team.' Offensively, it's the same philosophy within."

On how much of a factor the talent of a roster is in deciding whether or not to accept a job:

"I think there are all sorts of ways to look at things. Obviously, there are a lot of positives in Baltimore. However, I can say that it wasn't that long ago that the San Diego Chargers were the worst team in the league. You've got to continue to improve and build. It's a factor, but at the same time, if you go in and you work hard and you stick to [the] plan, you'll be successful."

On how he plans to address turnovers:

"Turnover ratio? We all know how important that is. Ball security is critical. That's something that I think every team emphasizes. Some years you do a better job than others, but it's one of those things that we know is a key determining factor to whether you win or not. Your ability to take care of the football is going to be critical."


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