Ravens criticized for ‘tinkering’ with Lamar Jackson this offseason

Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens are looking to expand the arsenal of quarterback Lamar Jackson this season, so to speak. At least, that’s the plan according to offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

The Ravens want to see Jackson operate more under center in 2021 after playing almost exclusively in the pistol under the guidance of Roman.

The move is aimed to add another element to Baltimore’s offense and hopefully allow Jackson to continue developing as a passer. But it hasn’t been met with universal praise.

Randy Gurzi of NFL Spin Zone recently released a list detailing the worst offseason move for all 32 teams. And for the Ravens, he highlighted their insistence on “tinkering” with Jackson as their biggest misstep.

Should the Ravens be “tinkering” with Lamar Jackson?

Gurzi had the following to say about the team’s plan to change up their offensive scheme a little.

"“Perhaps they toy with this and toss the idea, but if the Ravens do decide to try and make Jackson more like other quarterbacks, it would be a mistake. He’s different, and it works. Trying to change him wouldn’t be the way to go.”"

There’s certainly something to be said about Jackson’s uniqueness. He’s a talent unlike anything we’ve seen in the modern NFL.

Jackson is equally dynamic as a runner as he is a passer and his explosiveness on the ground is a massive part of Baltimore’s offensive success. No player averaged more yards per carry than Jackson’s 6.3 average in 2020.

His skill set is as integral to his team’s offense as any player is in the NFL. That being said, it’s hard to fault the Ravens for trying to introduce an extra element into the offense.

For as dominant as the Ravens’ rushing attack has been under Roman, the veteran coordinator’s failure to adapt in late-game situations has garnered plenty of criticism.

Roman has allowed Jackson to reach heights previously unimaginable, but it’s fair to argue that his one-track system has also held the former MVP back as a passer.

Jackson continues to grow as a passer and, despite a drop in statistical production last season, he made important strides that should help him continue to do so.

Last season, Jackson was under center for just four percent of his team’s offensive snaps. Since taking over as a starter midway through the 2018 season, he’s taken just 127 total snaps under center — the lowest total in the NFL.

Why not switch it up? Why not allow Jackson to further develop as a passer by putting more on his plate?

Roman needs to evolve as a coordinator and play-caller in 2021, and this is an important step in doing so.

It’s fair to be concerned about the Ravens “tinkering” with Lamar Jackson. After all, why ruin a good thing?

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But this is more about evolving than it is “tinkering.” Sometimes change is necessary.

This is one of those times.