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Lamar Jackson Wants an Offseason Workout With Receivers … in Florida

WR Zay Flowers (left) & QB Lamar Jackson (right)
WR Zay Flowers (left) & QB Lamar Jackson (right)

With a big gap between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp, Lamar Jackson said it's going to be business as usual on his end.

But when asked if he would be interested in getting together with his receivers during the time off, a smile came across his face.

"I would love to do that, but some guys don't want to leave their state. They're going to have to come to South Florida," Jackson said. "They're going to have to do it. We have to. We're trying to get to the Super Bowl, and for us to do that, we have to grind. We have to build chemistry."

Jackson, who grew up in Pompano Beach, Fla., was recently seen on social media throwing in the Sunshine State with Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor, two fellow Floridians. Rashod Bateman, who sat down for an upcoming episode of The Lounge, said he plans to meet up with Jackson and Flowers in Florida.

Willie Taggart's Worries About Derrick Henry in Shotgun Offense Have Been Eased

Since 2019, the Ravens have run more plays out of the pistol or shotgun formation (4,886) than any other team, per ESPN. When Derrick Henry was in Tennessee, his quarterbacks spent a lot of time under center.

So, when Running Backs Coach Willie Taggart got word Henry was coming to Baltimore, he had some worries.

"Coming in, I ... [after] watching the film in Tennessee, that was a concern; like, 'We're in the [shotgun], and we run from the gun, and how would Derrick [Henry] be in it?' And I'm not going to lie, I questioned that, until he got here" Taggart said.

But it only took a little while for Taggart to see that Henry was different.

"[I saw] the big man move his feet, and I'm like, 'Woah.' It's really impressive for a guy that size to move the way he does. And he's got, not necessarily Zay Flowers' feet, but for a big guy, he's pretty swift on his feet and [has] great vision and all. But seeing him do it from the gun ... I don't think we'll have any problem doing it."

Joe D'Alessandris Likes Patrick Mekari As Super-Sub

Baltimore has a lot of attention surrounding its offensive line with three starting spots open. Patrick Mekari is a veteran in that room with 36 starts in his five-year NFL career, but despite Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris thinking he's good enough to start, he Mekari will likely be a reserve to start the year because of his versatility.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Mekari can play all five positions on the line, making him a Swiss Army Knife off the bench in case of injuries.

"In my eyes, he's a starter, but he's in the position where he can play multiple positions, and that's the role that we'd like to see him in right now," D'Alessandris said. "Does that mean ... If we have an injury, guess what? You're starting, Pat. But it's not that he can't start, it's just that we see the versatility and the benefit of that opportunity. There are not many guys in the NFL that can play center, both guards and tackle."

Josh Johnson Is Benjamin Button?

There are not many 38-year-olds in the NFL, but Josh Johnson is one of them. And according to Quarterback Coach Tee Martin, he's not slowing down at all. In fact, he's doing the opposite.

"I said it in the staff meeting earlier this week, that he is aging backwards," Martin said. "For a guy who's getting older, from an arm-strength standpoint [and] his legs, he's found a spring in his step. He's being more elusive, extending plays within the pocket."

Johnson re-signed with the Ravens this offseason and will be the backup behind Jackson, and Martin has a lot of confidence in him.

"I really like his growth – it's crazy to say that with the amount of experience he has – but I really like his growth within this offense from Year 1 to Year 2, and it gave us the confidence to go in saying that he could be QB2 for us," Martin said.

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