Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman spoke to the media on Wednesday night and answered a variety of questions ranging from Lamar Jackson to broader questions about the offense as a whole.
And the consensus seemed to be that some much-needed changes are coming to the offense in 2021.
The Ravens have relied on their league-best rushing attack over the last two seasons since Roman joined the team ahead of the 2019 season.
And while the offense has forged a new identity for the franchise, its one-dimensional nature has also been their Achilles heel at times — especially in the postseason.
That’s something that must change in 2021.
Greg Roman vowed to expand the Ravens offense this season.
Roman insisted that the offense was limited last season due to the unorthodox nature of the offseason. Baltimore’s famously complex offense was restricted given the absence of extensive offseason practice time.
As a result, the Ravens were forced to experiment during the season and the passing game never really took the step forward that the team hoped it would, despite the added emphasis.
But this season, things have to be different.
Roman must add new wrinkles to the offense, and perhaps that will start with using Lamar Jackson more under center in 2021, as the veteran coach insisted the team would do.
Focusing more on ball fakes and play action will allow Jackson to hopefully open up the passing game more and keep opposing defenses guessing.
The offensive coaching staff is once again prioritizing chunk plays in the passing game — something that they attempted to do last offseason.
Installing more play-action looks in the offense should help with that, as will a revamped wide receiver corps.
The Ravens struggled mightily with drops a year ago. Whether it was Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, or whoever, drives were oftentimes stalled by untimely botches.
The hope is that the addition of players like Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins, and even Tylan Wallace will go a long way toward improving what was one of the worst wide receiver corps in football a year ago.
But at the end of the day, Roman must do his part too.
The Ravens must continue to lean on their explosive rushing attack while becoming a more competent and nuanced passing team.
Roman has been criticized for his uninspiring route concepts and passive passing game, but with a player like Bateman now in the fold, that doesn’t have to be the case.
Bateman was perhaps the best pure route-runner in a superb 2021 wide receiver class and his NFL-ready skill set should be a breath of fresh air for a Ravens offense desperately in need of more polished route-runners.
The pressure is on for Greg Roman to craft a more balanced — and thus, more efficient — offense this season.
The success of the organization could depend on it.