Former Ravens WR says Greg Roman’s system ‘pushes guys away’

Ravens, Willie Snead Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Willie Snead Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

Few members of the Baltimore Ravens organization have come under more scrutiny in recent memory than offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

The long-tenured NFL assistant has been with the team in some capacity since 2017 and served as the Ravens’ offensive coordinator since 2019. In that time, he’s helped revolutionize one of the best rushing offenses the NFL has seen in a long time.

But he’s also struggled to curate a dynamic, multi-faceted offense that could find consistent success in the air. Even his staunchest defenders would agree that Roman’s offense isn’t exactly suited to maximize the talents of its wide receivers.

That was the sentiment shared by former Ravens wide receiver Willie Snead in a recent interview with Tyler Dunne of “Go Long.” In the interview, Snead discussed his time with the Ravens and criticized Roman’s offensive system.

"“If the Ravens had more creativity in the passing game and they put more emphasis on it during the season, I think more receivers would be open to coming. Because Lamar [Jackson] is a great player to play with. He’s all about the team. He’s fun. He brings the energy every single day. You want to play with quarterbacks like that. But the system pushes guys away.”"

Is Greg Roman holding back the Ravens’ offense?

Snead brings up some valid points. The Ravens have consistently struggled to recruit veteran receivers in free agency over the years, almost always resorting to second-tier options or returning to the draft.

Of the 12 wide receivers on the Ravens’ roster, none were added through unrestricted free agency. They all joined the team via the draft or were signed as undrafted free agents/signed to futures contracts.

When they do sign free agents — see: Sammy Watkins, Seth Roberts, and even Willie Snead himself — they’re pretty much exclusively bargain options. Guys signed to short-term deals who aren’t expected to be much more than depth pieces.

With that in mind, Snead’s criticism is certainly fair. It’s justifiable to suggest that veteran wide receivers don’t want to play for the Ravens because they don’t want to play in Roman’s system.

Of course, the Greg Roman dialogue is tiresome at this point. But whether you support the man or believe he’s holding back Lamar Jackson and the entire offense, it’s hard to disagree with the point Snead makes.

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This is the Greg Roman system. And it’s a system the Ravens are prepared to either live or die by.