From Joe Flacco's $120.6 million contract to his unreal postseason performance, this is clearly going to be his offense this year and the foreseeable future. But when the Ravens announced the additions of tight end Dallas Clark and wide receiver Brandon Stokley, the first person that came to mind was offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell.
Clark and Stokley are much-needed touches in Caldwell's game plan and it starts with their past history that goes back to their days with the Indianapolis Colts. Clark spent nine years there when Caldwell was the quarterbacks coach and eventually head coach. Stokley lined up in the slot for the Colts for four seasons.
While Caldwell wasn't calling the plays for the Colts, he understands what each player can do for an offense from the years watching them work. In Caldwell's first full season as offensive coordinator, there appears to be a Caldwell influence occurring with the passing attack. And familiarity goes a long way for the Ravens.
"The previous relationships are always positive with players," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters Sunday. "It gives you a good insight into what kind of a guy you’re getting. So it’s always a plus.”
The Ravens, though, wouldn't have brought in Clark and Stokley purely on their ties with Caldwell. They fit what Caldwell wants to do offensively. The biggest change when Caldwell took over for Cam Cameron in December was using the middle of the field. Cameron preferred not throwing in between the numbers because it increased the chances of interceptions. Clark and Stokley have made careers by running crossing and underneath routes.
What Caldwell and the Ravens have to figure out now is what Clark and Stokley have left in the tank.