Lamar Jackson: 3 things that will help him shine in 2019
All eyes will be on Lamar Jackson moving forward. What could help the Ravens quarterback shine in his first full season as the starter?
1. Greg Roman is the offensive coordinator
The first thing to note here is that Greg Roman is exactly the right offensive coordinator for Lamar Jackson. The Ravens used Roman’s run schemes to go on a late season surge that got them a division crown. Roman has experience with mobile quarterbacks (Colin Kaepernick, Tyrod Taylor) and Jackson is the most mobile quarterback the NFL has seen since Michael Vick. Roman will put a run-first offense in place that will allow Jackson to develop as a passer and get the most out of his dual threat skill-set.
The Ravens were wise to hire David Culley as their passing game coordinator. Like Roman helped Marty Mornhinweg with the run, Culley will design much of the Ravens’ passing attack. Roman already built the foundation of the offense last season. While the Ravens will want Jackson to do less running, you’re kidding yourself if you think they will take that element from his game. The goal should be to make defenses have to account for Jackson’s speed while allowing the rest of the offense to do most of the work. With Jackson it isn’t about avoiding rushing attempts; it’s about avoiding excess hits. Jackson needs to be more strategic here, and so does Roman.
The Ravens ran an offense that worked for Jackson’s fill-in duty at quarterback. When they stuck with him, they didn’t have time to construct a fully built offensive identity. They’re going to run the football better than most teams in the NFL, but the passing game is going to improve in a big way. One problem, which was evident in the playoff loss, was that the Ravens handcuffed Jackson too much. They have to let Jackson let it rip. They have to believe in his arm in the red zone. They have to let him throw it deep more than just once or twice here and there. If the Ravens believe in Jackson (Which they clearly do) they will let him sling the football left and right. If that means he makes some rough mistakes, that’s how he’s going to learn.