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Ravens News 6/27: Relative Strength and more

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Denver Broncos v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Ravens film study: Amid offensive overhaul, Lamar Jackson’s downfield passing will need work

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Banner

As the Ravens overhaul their offense this offseason with new coordinator Todd Monken, new quarterbacks coach Tee Martin and a restocked receiving corps, Jackson’s new help will go only so far. An explosive attack requires home run hitters, and Jackson has had one of the NFL’s worst whiff rates on deep shots. His accuracy on passes of at least 20 air yards has fallen each of the past two years, according to Sports Info Solutions. A review of his deep passes last season by The Baltimore Banner found that he went 15-for-45 (33.3%), excluding Hail Mary attempts and throwaways.

Maybe most concerning was how few gave Jackson’s target a chance. His long ball in Week 5 was so overthrown Wallace couldn’t even dive for it. That was the case more often than not last season. Among the 34 quarterbacks who attempted at least 25 deep passes in 2022, according to SIS, Jackson finished last in catchable rate (41%) and third to last in on-target rate (35.9%), by far the worst marks of his career as a full-time starter.

Jackson was not solely to blame. There were questionable personnel groupings and play calls from offensive coordinator Greg Roman. There were misplayed passes. There were breakdowns in pass protection. There was a lot of good defense. But too often an inaccurate throw or poor read was the offense’s undoing. The Banner’s review assigned blame to Jackson on 13 of his 30 misfires on deep passes. The opposing defense and Jackson’s supporting cast, meanwhile, were responsible for 11 and six play failures, respectively.

Ravens’ Kyle Hamilton on everything from his evolving role to his off-the-field passion

Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic

It’s been a popular question this offseason: How do you expect your role to evolve this year? Is it too early to tell?

It’s hard not to look ahead. Hopefully, my role is to emerge as a leader. I still have a lot to prove in order to accept that role and that position from the guys. But just being a vocal leader in a sense of communicating on the field, not necessarily as a rah-rah speech guy, but making sure everybody is on the same page. And then just raise my play to a different level. I thought I played OK last year. I could have played a lot better from my perspective. I have high expectations for myself and I try to hold myself to that standard.

What about position-wise? Do you embrace being the jack-of-all-trades, lining up in the slot, playing dime linebacker, dropping back as the deep safety, or does that make it hard to focus on one thing?

It’s a little bit of both. It’s definitely more challenging, but you’re better for it because you know more of the defense. You know what the other guy is going to do because you played those positions. I did that at Notre Dame, not too much, just because I played mostly safety on base downs. But I think it’s also a great thing to have that versatility and be able to play wherever the team needs me on a week-to-week basis and being able to adapt. It also allows other guys to play, too. I think there’s a flexibility there that makes everybody happy.

What has been your favorite part about Baltimore?

I think the fan base in a sense of one, their honesty. I appreciate that. You can’t take for granted that Baltimore’s fan base is such a good one, because around the league, there’s definitely cities where I’m sure guys are like, ‘I wish the fans are more into it.’ It’s tough to complain about your fans caring too much, when there are people who complain about them not caring at all. I’ve also met some great people around the city who have helped me out a lot, people who want to connect with Kyle the person, not Kyle the football player. It’s been really genuine and I appreciate it.

Projecting the 2023 NFL Offensive All-Rookie Team: Seahawks’ draft class provides instant impact (again)

Chad Reuter,

WR Zay Flowers

Baltimore Ravens

Drafted: Round 1, No. 22 overall

Flowers can be the big-play threat after the catch that the Ravens’ offense has needed for some time. He could have 80 catches as a rookie, spreading out defenses horizontally and vertically, which will make the team’s running attack even more dangerous.

Ranking top 10 NFL cornerbacks in 2023: There’s a new No. 1, plus two Cowboys make star-studded list

Jared Dubin, Sports Illustrated

7. Marlon Humphrey, Ravens

The league’s premier slot man when he gets an opportunity to play inside, Humphrey went back to playing mostly on the perimeter in 2022 but nevertheless had his best coverage season in a few years, allowing only a 74.5 passer rating with zero touchdowns and three picks. He can do pretty much anything in Mike McDonald’s defense, and the Ravens will surely ask him to do just that.

The 12 Biggest NFL Stories Remaining This Summer

Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated

The relative strength of the AFC is bananas. Here’s a list of quarterbacks: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence, Russell Wilson. At least two of those guys won’t make the playoffs, and we didn’t even get into guys such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones and Kenny Pickett. The collection of quarterbacks (most of them 27 and under) and teams in the AFC is just ridiculous. And as a result, whoever emerges from the conference, and gets to Las Vegas in February, figures to have taken some punches.