Ravens Must Maximize Quarterback Lamar Jackson's Passing Ability
Tyler Hamilton | 6/21/2019, 6 a.m.
The Baltimore Ravens made an assertive commitment to quarterback Lamar Jackson during the offseason. Now the team has to showcase Jackson's playmaking ability especially as a passer to make cash in on their commitment.
Trading long-time starter Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos eliminated any questions about Jackson being the starter in his second season. The trade was compounded by the promotion of Greg Roman from run game coordinator to offensive coordinator with the Ravens.
Former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was able to influx Jackson into the offense with the help of Roman. However, it was reliant mostly upon Jackson's rushing ability with a few passing opportunities sprinkled into the mix.
Jackson is severely underrated as a passer. A quick scroll through the various NFL TV shows establish a theme saying opposing teams need to dare Jackson to beat them throwing the football. To that, Roman and the Ravens passing game need to say, “Be careful what you ask for!”
Jackson is able to make tremendous throws down the field whether it be on go routes or posts. He may struggle with some of the intermediate passes such as deep digs, but those can come with work. Creating a multi-level passing attack will help Baltimore be more damaging through the air.
The Ravens already have a talented group of tight ends in Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst. Willie Snead and Chris Moore are serviceable options to roam the middle of the field as well. However, the team needed to add a deep threat and someone that can take a short pass a long way to the end zone.
Baltimore added speedy wideout Marquis Brown and former Notre Dame playmaker Miles Boykin in the draft to fill those roles. They signed bell cow running back Mark Ingram to provided a rushing threat that will help set up the play action passing game as well.
Those three moves suddenly make the Ravens an explosive passing team. Jackson reported to OTAs and minicamp with more confidence in his second season. As a rookie, he was just trying to get acclimated. Now, he knows he is the captain of the ship.
The revamped offense should give Jackson opportunities to make plays on the run thanks to a lot of play action and rollouts. Roman would be wise to incorporate the read option to take advantage of the rushing threat Jackson presents.
There will also be opportunities for Jackson to extend plays and push the ball down the field. His athleticism will be on full display in these situations. Jackson is easily able to throw the deep pass with accuracy to receivers that turn their route up field when plays break down.
While everyone is preparing to stop the Ravens run heavy attack from last year, Roman is revamping the offense. He has found success with passers that are dangerous runners, including: Colin Kaepernick, Alex Smith and Tyrod Taylor in the past. Jackson is next in line to be showcased as a dual threat under center.