Jim Williams: CBS' Bill Cowher: Joe Flacco continues to grow as quarterback

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As the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers arrive in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII, the pregame analysts are starting to focus on the game. One of those analysts is CBS Sports' Bill Cowher, who will play a big role in the network's "NFL Today" pregame show Sunday at 2?p.m. from New Orleans.

In Cowher's 15 seasons as coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team won eight division titles and made 10 playoff appearances. He reached the Super Bowl twice, winning Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks.

Over the past two weeks, Cowher has spent a great deal of time breaking down tape.

Talk about the quarterbacks.

Cowher » "[Joe] Flacco has been underrated, and he has grown over the past three weeks with the help of Jim Caldwell, the Ravens' new offensive coordinator. The plays are the same the Ravens ran under former OC Cam Cameron. But Caldwell has Joe playing more out of the shotgun, which allows him additional time to read the defenses. They also are sticking to the run more with Ray Rice. That opens up the play-action passing game. [Colin] Kaepernick offers the Ravens problems because he has the great arm, but in the read option offense, the defense is always off balance. That gives the 49ers an advantage."

Is the read option/pistol offense here to stay?

Cowher »

"Yes, I think that what Kyle and Mike Shanahan did by building an offense for Robert Griffin III is both innovative and perfect for the types of quarterbacks that are coming out of college now. We have seen the Redskins' run option offense adapted by Jim Harbaugh for Kaepernick. We saw Russell Wilson get a chance to run the offense in Seattle. Harbaugh has used his variation of the Redskins' offense like Washington did before RGIII was injured. Kaepernick uses the play action to find Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. They also play the run game with Frank Gore like Washington did with Alfred Morris. When Kaepernick does run out of the option like RGIII, it is well-blocked, and that is why it works."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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Jim Williams

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The Washington Examiner