Caldwell relishes expanded duties
Don’t expect Jim Caldwell to incorporate the triple-option or a variety of trick plays in his first NFL game as an offensive coordinator.
Caldwell grabbed the reins of the Baltimore Ravens’ offense on Monday after head coach John Harbaugh fired Cam Cameron. Caldwell was in his first year as Baltimore’s quarterbacks coach, a job he will retain moving forward.
For his first assignment as an offensive coordinator, the 57-year-old Caldwell will be asked to oversee and direct an attack that must outdo Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who Caldwell coached in Indianapolis.
“It may seem like a bit of a novelty, but it isn’t,” Caldwell said Thursday. “We both have a job to do.”
Caldwell takes over a unit that is ranked 18th in total yardage and has been inconsistent throughout the season. With only three weeks to go, he intends to tweak the offense rather than overhaul it.
“Obviously, there’s not going to be a system change of any sort,” he said. “I’ll add a few wrinkles here and there. For the most part, I think the guys are comfortable with what we do. I’ve got to find what best suits our personnel and utilize that. Do the things that we do best.”
Cameron was criticized for not using running back Ray Rice enough, and others questioned whether quarterback Joe Flacco showed improvement from a year ago. Caldwell wouldn’t tip his hand on how he intends to utilize either player, but it appears as if he can’t wait to put his stamp on a unit with plenty of weapons.
“The reason why I coach is that I have a great passion for the game,” he said. “I love a challenge. There is nothing about professional football that’s easy. So it’s going to require everything you have and just a little bit more. That’s what makes me excited about what we’re doing.”
Vitt: Witnesses lied
Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt says witnesses in the NFL’s bounty investigation of New Orleans’ pay-for-pain system have lied about him and the organization and that their stories might change in federal court, where the punishment for perjury can be jail time.
Vitt’s comments come a day after transcripts showed former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams testified during NFL appeal hearings that he tried to stop the Saints’ cash-for-hits program, only to be overruled by Vitt.
Those same transcripts show Vitt denied Williams’ allegation and offered to take a lie detector test.
Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III (knee) was back at practice and was able to plant and throw more smoothly than he did during Wednesday’s session. … Cowboys WR Dez Bryant said he will play with a broken finger Sunday against Pittsburgh. Bryant was listed as a limited participant in practice. … Bills coach Chan Gailey expects LB Nick Barnett to play against the Seahawks this weekend despite holding Barnett out from practice for a second straight day. … Giants CB Prince Amukamara missed practice with a strained hamstring and could miss New York’s game at Atlanta on Sunday. … The Titans signed TE Brandon Barden from their practice squad, replacing Jared Cook, who is out the rest of the season with a torn right rotator cuff. … Jets QB Tim Tebow will be active Monday night at Tennessee, but will likely not run the wildcat or participate as the punt protector on special teams. … Jets WR Braylon Edwards, passed his physical and coach Rex Ryan is optimistic about his chances to play Sunday.
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