Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron
May 30, 2012
By dusting off the Suggs package, Cam Cameron showed he still has old tricks up his sleeve.
Remember that zany Suggs package, the set of gimmick plays the Ravens unveiled during Joe Flacco's rookie season? The ones that utilized misdirection and the athleticism of former Ravens quarterback Troy Smith to trick defenses by putting Flacco and Smith on the field together? (It got its name after Terrell Suggs said that Smith should get more playing time.) Well, apparently, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was digging around his attic this week and stumbled upon an old scrapbook or something.
With Thursday night's game versus Cleveland scoreless in the second quarter, the Ravens might have caught the Browns off guard by putting both Flacco and backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the game inside the red zone. Taylor, a second-year scrambler, lined up near the right sideline at the Cleveland 18-yard line, drawing the attention of veteran cornerback Sheldon Brown. Wide receiver Torrey Smith lined up over a Browns linebacker in the right slot. At the snap of the ball, Torrey streaked up the seam and inside of safety Tashaun Gipson, who was covering the deep right half of the field in a Cover-Two shell, to catch a perfectly placed throw from Flacco. Taylor's presence created a mismatch for Smith.
After the game, as Taylor chatted with Anquan Boldin's son in the locker room, I asked him if he was just a decoy or if we should expect to see him catching passes from Flacco in the near future. Taylor chuckled.
"All options are available. As a receiver, I could get the ball in that situation. It goes to the open man, and it was Torrey on that play," he said, then joked, "They know not to play man when I'm in the game."
Of course, Taylor might have just said that in the hopes that I would write about it and opposing teams would read about it, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh also talked during the preseason about finding ways to utilize Taylor's athleticism. A few of you have asked me about this possibility on the Twitter. The problem with putting the ball in Taylor's hands under center is that it takes it out of Flacco's, and I'm not sure that's such a good idea with the way that Flacco has played in the season's first four games. But Cam Cameron is a thinking man's coordinator, and I wouldn't put it past him to dust off the old Suggs package again this season whenever his team is in need of a spark. It worked Thursday night, didn't it?