Before we hit the 4th of July break, here are my thoughts, all in 50 words or less:
If the Ravens are going to realize their Super Bowl dreams, Lamar Jackson must be back at the top of his game. It's easy to forget that even though the Ravens upgraded his weapons and scheme, Jackson needs to improve himself. I think he's well positioned to do that.
Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Banner had an insightful look into Jackson’s deep passing this week, with his takeaway being that Jackson missed too many open throws. Jackson has always had the arm talent and throws a pretty ball. I think he's felt he had to be too perfect.
With better speed on the outside, I expect we won't see Jackson overthrow receivers as much. But I think trust and chemistry will be the biggest component to hitting more of those shots. It's good to see Jackson putting in the work, evidenced by his South Florida session with Flowers.
I have zero issue with Beckham’s take-it-slow approach to his offseason preparation. He's a veteran who can be trusted to know his assignment. It's about building trust with Jackson and the on-field operation in Monken's offense. I suspect we'll see Jackson-Beckham workout social media videos any day now.
We got some insight into some of Todd Monken's philosophies in our latest episode of “Wired” from minicamp. One of the best quotes was from Monken saying, "If we don't get our skills guys involved, we'll never be the team we can be." He's taking the top off the offense.
Three notes from Monken's classroom presentation – misdirection, tempo, and trick plays. We've known he plans to pick up the pace and misdirection is a given. Trick plays are an interesting nugget. I love how creative the Chiefs get around the goal line. Will we see some of that in Baltimore?
Orlando Brown Jr. is bullish on the Ravens' new offense, saying the "sky’s the limit." Sounds like a guy still playing in Baltimore rather than the rival Cincinnati Bengals. Brown isn't one to shy away from some smack talk either, so it shows the level of respect for Monken.
I loved John Harbaugh's message during minicamp: "If you decide this year to get all in and go for it, it will be the simplest, hardest, and most rewarding football experience in your life." Multiple players have said they feel this is a Super-Bowl worthy roster. Don't squander the opportunity.
There have now been seven NFL players suspended by the league for gambling. As reported by The Baltimore Sun and others, General Manager Eric DeCosta opened minicamp by personally "laying out the details of the NFL's prohibition against gambling and emphasizing the severity of potential penalties." Smart move.
Jackson and Beckham are two different kinds of superstars. You're more likely to see Jackson grubbing with random people at his South Florida restaurant than rubbing elbows with celebrities. Meanwhile, Beckham this week golfed with DJ Khaled and a month ago went to the Monaco Grand Prix.