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Late for Work 8/9: Former Ravens OC Predicts Breakout Season for Odell Beckham Jr.

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

Former Ravens OC Predicts Breakout Season for Odell Beckham Jr.

It's the time of year when pundits predict which players will have breakout seasons. Typically, the breakout candidates are young players, not 30-year-old three-time Pro Bowlers.

Odell Beckham Jr., however, is a unique case. After missing the entire 2022 season and not having had a 1,000-yard season since 2019, the star wide receiver has been looking like his old self at training camp.

In Marty Mornhinweg’s Ravens preview for The 33rd Team, the former Ravens offensive coordinator said he expects big things from Beckham.

"A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. is primed for a breakout," wrote Mornhinweg, the Ravens offensive coordinator from 2016-2018. "He's a talented, talented receiver. If he's healthy, he is going to have a great season."

Mornhinweg said Beckham's presence on the field will benefit first-round wide receiver Zay Flowers, who also has boom potential, in his opinion.

"The receiver opposite a great talent like Beckham Jr. is usually highly productive," Mornhinweg wrote.

Beckham had perhaps his most impressive day of practice yesterday, which featured a 40-yard reception with top cornerback Marlon Humphrey in tight coverage, and a one-handed, deep grab against cornerback Kevon Seymour during a one-on-one drill. Beckham had six grabs on the day.

"The biggest revelation about Beckham this summer is not the impressive catches. He's made a career of those," The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec wrote. "It's been just how often he's been out on the practice field. It was expected that Beckham, who has missed 29 regular-season games over the past three seasons, would be on the veteran practice plan, where he'd get semi-regular days off. Yet, Tuesday was the Ravens' 12th practice of training camp and Beckham has been on the field for 11 of them."

Robert Griffin III: Ravens Have Pieces to Win Super Bowl, Be Dominant Force

Another star player for the Ravens who is poised to return to form is Lamar Jackson, said ESPN analyst and former Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III.

"Make no mistake about it, L.J. has made it a habit to prove his doubters wrong at every level of football he has played," Griffin told ESPN's Jason Reid in an article on "He hears everything. … Now, he will get back to letting his play do the talking with the best team he has ever had around him."

Griffin said that with additions such as Beckham, Flowers and new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken, Jackson has everything he needs to lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship.

"Don't worry about the numbers this year or how the Ravens start the season. The Ravens will use the season to build towards a playoff run," Griffin said. "With so many new faces, the first half of the season will be used to build in-game chemistry. After all, they have the right guy in Monken for the X's and O's. But now they also have the Jimmy's and the Joe's to help their star QB be even better.

"[The Ravens have] the pieces in place to not just win the Super Bowl but be a dominant force in doing it."

Pundit Excited to See How Dangerous Ravens Defense Can Be

It's not just the offense that has pundits buzzing. The Athletic's Diante Lee said that from a schematic standpoint, the Ravens have the defense he's most excited to see this season.

"Baltimore ranked in the top 10 in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric last year, and if you watch how it evolved after the Roquan Smith trade, it was clear that this defense was unlocked by placing a star in the middle," Lee wrote. "Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald has taken a 3-4 scheme and emphasized some of the modern bells and whistles to better control today's spread passing game. Baltimore's ranked in the top 12 in blitz rate on third- and fourth-down passes per TruMedia, and many of them were 'simulated pressures' (blitzing a non-traditional rusher and dropping a traditional one into coverage) to manipulate the pass protection without having to rush five or more defenders.

"If this defense continues to win along the schematic margins and finds anything in its edge-rusher rotation, it can be dangerous again in 2023."

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