QB Lamar Jackson sees a new direction in the Ravens’ offense: ‘Running can only take you so far’
Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner
“Less running and more throwing,” was how Jackson on Wednesday described Monken’s approach. The Ravens were one of the NFL’s most run-heavy teams under former offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who stepped down after last season. As the Ravens searched for his replacement, Jackson retweeted a message saying he’d run a “pro-style” offense at Louisville with modern passing concepts.
Wednesday, after the Ravens’ first open OTA practice, Jackson was asked what it meant to play in such a system. Jackson indicated it had less to do with schemes than run-pass ratios.
“Just being able to throw the ball down the field,” he said. “Sometimes we can’t — running can only take you so far. And I feel like, with this new era of teams and offenses in the league, I feel like we need that. And coach Todd Monken, what I’m seeing in his offense so far, it’s looking tremendous.”
“I hear a lot of noise about throwing and stuff, like there’s yards to achieve and stuff,” Jackson said. “But I’m not not really worried about yards as much as it’s about us just winning.”
Ravens observations on Zay Flowers, Lamar Jackson, players bulking up and more
Mike Preston, The Baltimore Sun
Sizing ’em up
I always look at body types, especially for players entering their second and third years.
It seemed nearly impossible for second-year defensive tackle Travis Jones to add any thickness to his already 334-pound frame, but he is bigger in every part of his body.
Don’t misinterpret this as him being too big. The former Connecticut star is still explosive and can handle double teams.
Another player who looks bigger is second-year cornerback Jayln Armour-Davis. The Alabama product was small last season but has added some thickness in his chest and shoulders.
The Ravens need him to play well and hopefully become a starter, even though he struggled early last season and was benched.
Plays of the day
Second-year outside linebacker David Ojabo blitzed on one play to get the quarterback, then used a spin move to record what would have been two sacks in a row in a live game.
The catch of the day belonged to third-year wide receiver Tylan Wallace, who went up and over rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly for a long reception down to the 2-yard line.
QB to watch
Keep an eye on reserve quarterback Anthony Brown, the 2022 undrafted free agent out of Oregon. I liked him last year. He isn’t a strong runner like Jackson or even backup Tyler Huntley, but he throws a nice ball.
The 6-1, 228-pound Brown also has a strong enough arm to roll out and deliver passes back across his body.
News & Notes: John Harbaugh Is Pleased With OTA Attendance
Clifton Brown, BaltimoreRavens.com
Devin Duvernay, Rashod Bateman Making Steady Progress
Wide receivers Devin Duvernay and Rashod Bateman, who both underwent season-ending foot surgery in 2022, were at Wednesday’s practice. Their participation is being limited and monitored closely, but Harbaugh said he was pleased with where both receivers are physically.
Duvernay took a step forward from what he was doing on the field during football school activities.
“Duv has been out there working hard, and he’s kind of building stamina back up and everything, with his feet and his legs, and I think he’s doing a good job,” Harbaugh said. “Bate is right on schedule, from what they told us, and he’s chomping at the bit, and the trainers are holding him back a little bit. We want to be cautious, probably, more than anything right now, but he wants to get out there, too. So, I feel good about those guys, yes.”
Another 2022 Chicago Bears player signs with the Ravens
Jordan Sigler, ChiCitySports
The Bears signed the former fourth-round pick to a two-year deal in 2021. He started in 12 games for the Bears and played in 32. Blackson recorded 65 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, and four tackles for loss during his time with Chicago. Blackson earned a 35.2 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. He earned better grades for the pass rush (51.7) than for run defense (30.3).
Blackson had a better 2021 season with the Bears. He was brought into Chicago to be used as a defensive end in the Bears’ 3-4 scheme under then-defensive coordinator Sean Desai. Blackson didn’t appear to adjust well to being used as a defensive tackle in the Bears’ 4-3 scheme under head coach Matt Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams. Blackson should feel more at home in the Ravens’ 3-4 system.
PFF Tight End Rankings: Top 15 ahead of the 2023 NFL season
Josh Kosko, PFF
2. MARK ANDREWS, BALTIMORE RAVENS
Andrews comes in at No. 2 on this list due to the number of targets his offense feeds him in comparison to the next man on this list. The Ravens have had very little outside of Andrews over the years, and he continues to put up elite numbers. Over the past two years, Andrews’ 1.05 WAR is second best at the position. If he has one weakness in his game, it’s his ability after the catch, as he forced just three missed tackles in 2022 to go along with a middling 3.6 yards after the catch per reception.