While speaking with NBC Sport’s Chris Simms in the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII, Baltimore Ravens star tight end Mark Andrews shared his opinion on what a new offensive coordinator needs to bring to the table.
Ravens TE Mark Andrews on what a new OC needs to bring: “this is such a pass happy league. If you’re not doing it, you’re gonna fall behind”. Said they need to change the narrative that Baltimore isn’t a great place for WR to flourish pic.twitter.com/pNTIkZojIO— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) February 7, 2023
The Pro Bowl tight end is far from the only person to voice a desire for the Ravens to deploy a high-quality passing attack. Whether it was a lackluster passing scheme, a lack of quality pieces at the wide receiver position, or a combination of both, Baltimore has needed more from the passing game in recent years.
Andrews has remained the only constant for quarterback Lamar Jackson, with wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown being traded to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 NFL Draft and 2021 first-round pick Rashod Bateman sidelined with injuries for much of his first two seasons.
The Ravens have churned through a bevy of veterans at the position during Jackson’s tenure in Baltimore, including Willie Snead IV, Seth Roberts, Dez Bryant, Sammy Watkins, DeSean Jackson, and Demarcus Robinson. Baltimore has also hammered away at it through the draft with six picks being used on receivers since 2019. Despite this, the passing game has only gotten worse since Jackson’s incredible MVP campaign in 2019.
Multiple former players have spoken out about their frustrations with Baltimore’s offense, including Snead, Bryant, and Brown, who requested a trade following his third season with the team. Those same players have insisted that the issue is not Jackson, whose every pass has been examined under a microscope since his days at Louisville, so perhaps with a new direction at offensive coordinator and a renewed focus on the passing game, the Ravens will be able to attract some of the more lucrative receivers on the market going forward.
While talking with Simms, Andrews also defended Jackson regarding his absence at the end of the season. After suffering a sprained knee against the Denver Broncos in Week 13, Jackson did not return to the field for the rest of the season despite an initial 2-3 week return timeline. This led to speculation of whether or not Jackson was choosing to remain sidelined due to a lack of insurance that a long-term contract would provide.
“If he could’ve been out there, he would’ve been,” Andrews said.