For the surprise teams of the 2008 season, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco are turning in two of the most impressive seasons for a rookie quarterback since Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, and Dan Marino. While a significant amount of attention has been given to the performance of these two players (and rightfully so), there has been less focus on the schemes and offensive coaches of the Ravens and Falcons. It should come as no surprise that each team has one of the best offensive coordinators in the league. The Falcons employ Mike Mularkey, former Steelers Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens employ Cam Cameron, former SD Chargers Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins. These coaches have devised great game plans that take into account the limitations of rookie signal callers.
Keith Kidd from Scout's Inc. had this to say about the Ravens improvement:
In studying the Ravens offense this season, the three key elements that stick out in my mind have been improved play selection, personnel designs that creates mismatches by offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, and the most critical aspect of consistent production at quarterback with Joe Flacco.
Don Banks at CNNSI wrote this about Mularkey:
As the Falcons' first-year offensive coordinator, Mularkey has quietly done one of the best coaching jobs in the NFL this season, putting rookie quarterback Matt Ryan into the position to win right away. He has also gotten the best from Atlanta's Michael Turner-led running game and an offensive line that few thought would achieve so much.
On many Steeler fan sites (including this one), Bruce Arians has been repeatedly ripped for his poor management of the Steelers offense. When the Steelers played the Ravens earlier in the season, I remarked to the other SteezBros that the Ravens had called a great offensive game. I don't think I've said that once about the Steelers.
Maybe this offseason the Steez should hire a proven offensive coordinator. Gary Kubiak or Norv Turner anyone?