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Ravens News 6/4: Experimental Phase and more

NFL: Baltimore Ravens OTA Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens OC Greg Roman says the time is now to experiment offensively, and that includes working for more balance - Jeff Zrebiec

“It’s very important this time of year that we can experiment and try different things,” Roman said. “We’ve got a lot of young players on offense. This time of year is critical for them. They are really taking advantage of it. It’s truly important to get out there and work through some things and have some guys experience things and really develop.”

“Last year, we were kind of incorporating a strategy, especially early and the middle part of the year, where we were really trying to improve on game day and really trying to work on things on game day while we tried to win the game,” Roman said. “I really think with the way things are structured this year, we’re going to have a chance to get our preparation done this time of year and this summer to where we can have a more balanced attack. Who knows, there might be some guys this year where we’re really letting it rip.”

On tight end acquisition Josh Oliver: “I’m really liking what I’m seeing out of Josh. Nothing would make me happier than to see him grab the brass ring. He’s going to have every opportunity to do it. He’s a talented young man. He’s very athletic, but he’s got some real strength to him as well. If you can’t block a defensive end or a linebacker, you’re a fake tight end. I think he’s got the chance to be a real tight end. If that could happen, it would really be a great addition for us.”

Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson to work under center more in 2021 season - Jamison Hensley

“That is definitely going to be a part of what we do this year — the percentage of which I cannot state at this point,” Roman said. “I don’t know the extent of it. But we are working on it and evaluating it every day.”

Since taking over as the Ravens’ starting quarterback midway through the 2018 season, Jackson has taken the fewest snaps under center (127) among quarterbacks with at least 10 starts. Last season, Jackson was under center for 4% of his snaps (36 out of 889).

The Ravens could shift him under center more this season to take advantage of his ball fakes.

“It’s something we will certainly use from time to time, some games more than others,” Roman said. “I believe it’s a very important part in the development of a quarterback from a forward standpoint.”

With new faces at outside linebacker, Ravens will lean on a long cherished trait — versatility - Daniel Oyefusi

“[Bowser has] become a really dominant edge setter in the run game, which is always step No. 1 for our guys,” Wilkins said in a virtual news conference Wednesday, after the Ravens’ second open practice of OTAs. “And then, you guys saw it, he’s great in coverage, and it’s not just the plays on the ball, because he has tremendous ball skills — he’s at an elite level there — but what he does that you may not always see is he takes away the open underneath routes or the guy going to the flat. Now that quarterback has to hold the ball for an extra second, and you see the production that comes with that.

“He’s also a really dynamic and dangerous pass rusher for us that can really move across the front. … It’s a great piece for Wink to use on third down, because you know how creative Wink is; he’ll put him anywhere. He’ll put him at nose tackle, he’ll line him up like he’s a safety and blitz him. So, it really is a great, versatile weapon for us, and our defense.”

“The makeup of our room right now, it’s hard not to love it,” Wilkins said. “Myself, [coaching fellow] Matt Robinson — who’s with us in the room — we have a great group of players that … Every one of them, despite the difference in age, they all have something to prove right now.”

Sammy Watkins: ‘Feels like a team that’s ready to win the Super Bowl’ - John Eisenberg

Before Wednesday’s practice, Watkins huddled on the field with Wide Receivers Coach Tee Martin.

“What you saw … was me getting him caught up on what we put in last week,” Martin said. “He wasn’t available last week. I was catching him up … to get him up to speed so we could execute today at practice.”

After two hours of running routes and catching passes, Watkins could not hide his delight.

“It felt amazing,” he said. “It’s fun, man. Great energy, great vibe, just a winning culture. I’m just out there not thinking, just being a kid. That’s the most critical thing for me, just playing unconscious, catching balls, running around, blocking, just having fun.”

“Honestly, (Baltimore) feels like Kansas City to me; feels like a team that’s ready to win the Super Bowl,” Watkins said. “A team that’s ready to win and go out there and have fun and put up points. Good defense, good special teams. I’m just happy to be here and be involved with a good organization.”

“Lamar is going to continue to be the star that he is, Watkins said. “We just have to do the job around him.”

One non-QB each NFL team can’t afford to lose to injury in 2021: Travis Kelce, DeAndre Hopkins crack the list - Cody Benjamin

Baltimore Ravens: OT Ronnie Stanley

The Ravens advanced to the playoffs after losing Stanley to an ankle injury, and Lamar Jackson is better than anyone at making plays on his own. But an extended period without a legitimate left tackle isn’t good for any QB. Orlando Brown Jr. isn’t walking through that door. Marlon Humphrey would be a reasonable name here as well, though Baltimore’s better about unearthing defensive starters.