When opponents believe they've found a formula to defend Lamar Jackson, he loves cracking the code.
It's logical that Jackson will see more blitzing from opponents after the Miami Dolphins effectively used Cover-Zero pressure to bottle up the Ravens last week. But Jackson isn't worried about facing more blitz pressure. He's embracing the challenge, after coaches and players spent long hours during the past week studying what went wrong in Miami and how to counter it.
"Coaches got right. We got right. We all joined in," Jackson said. "We see Cover-Zero again, we'll have an answer."
Jackson is the second-most blitzed quarterback in the league behind Tyrod Taylor. Every defensive coordinator that faces the Ravens builds the game plan around containing Jackson. Opponents feel they have to take risks, because Jackson's ability to take over a game is a constant threat.
All great players must adjust to how they're defended, and for Jackson it's an ongoing chess match that will play out over his career. After studying the film, Jackson gave the Dolphins credit, but he also saw chances for big plays that were missed due to poor execution. Jackson says the next time he gets a heavy dose of blitzing, he'll have an anecdote.
"We had opportunities," Jackson said. "We had a lot of opportunities. And they played great defense.
"We've got great coaches. Things happen. They caught us off guard. Things didn't work how we wanted them to work during the game. We've got a different game plan. That's why they're our coaches. We're not worried about it. If we see it again, it will be different."
Jackson Baffled By This Year's Illnesses
Jackson was glad to be back at practice Friday, after staying home both Wednesday and Thursday. It was the third time this season that Jackson has missed at least one practice during the week due to an illness. Jackson doesn't know why the sickness bug keeps biting him.
"It was probably the weather change," Jackson said. "Usually, I don't get sick. I used to eat my Flintstone vitamins. My immune system should be good."
The Ravens are 3-0 this season when Jackson has missed practice time during the week. He plans to overcome his absences again, but he doesn't dismiss the importance of being at practice.
"I try to stay in tune, reaching out to coaches, coaches reaching out to me," Jackson said. "It's just the chemistry with my guys, hitting them outside the numbers, getting the ball downfield. Keeping our chemistry going.
"I definitely feel less prepared, because I want to be out there with my guys. I know I'm behind, because those guys, they're still on the field, doing what they're supposed to do, getting better each and every day. So, I'm probably like two percent behind them right now. I've got to catch up. It'll be good though, because I've got a great group of guys working with me."
Brandon Williams Will Miss Another Game
Starting defensive tackle Brandon Williams (shoulder) will miss his third straight game after being ruled out on Friday.
"I really don't have any updates on Brandon Williams or any light to shed on it, other than the fact that we'll see how he feels next week," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
The absence of Williams will likely mean more heavy duty for defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Justin Ellis, with Justin Madubuike, Broderick Washington and Reginald McKenzie also in the rotation. Campbell leads all Ravens defensive linemen in snaps this season (412) at age 35.
"He's playing great. He's a leader," Harbaugh said. "He's out here every day. He's in the weight room every day. He mentors the young guys every day. That's the kind of guy [he is], and I think that'll be his legacy."
Ravens Bracing For Windy Game on Sunday
It was fitting that the Ravens practiced outside Friday on a windy day, because they are expecting the same on Sunday.
Baltimore has never won a game in Chicago (0-3), and the weather conditions for Sunday's game are expected to be challenging.
"We're expecting right now low 40's, 20 or 30 mile-per-hour winds," Harbaugh said. "We had a perfect day today. It was good for us."
The last time the Ravens played in Chicago, a tornado in the area delayed the game and left sloppy conditions in a 23-20 overtime win for the Bears. The Ravens have never won a game in Soldier Field.