Pressing Questions the Ravens' Next Offensive Coordinator Will Face
As the Ravens' search for the next offensive coordinator continues, The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker identified the most pressing questions Greg Roman's successor will face.
Here's a look at three of them:
Will Lamar Jackson be the quarterback, and if he's not, should the offense be tailored to a different skill set?
"The Ravens have made every decision over the last four years with an eye on optimizing their team for Jackson's skills. [John] Harbaugh elevated Roman in the first place because he believed no one would be better suited to build a 'revolutionary' attack around the greatest running quarterback ever to hit the NFL. … Will a new coordinator seek more balance? That might be Jackson's preference; he has emphasized again and again that he thrived in a pro-style offense with coach Bobby Petrino at Louisville. And if he's not the man at the helm, the offense will need to function without a once-in-a-generation runner taking snaps.
"It's difficult to envision the Ravens returning to the straight drop-back days of Joe Flacco given all they've built around Jackson. But with so much uncertainty around their most important player, it's equally difficult to guess exactly how the path ahead might look."
Will J.K. Dobbins become more of a featured running back?
"Roman believed in a balanced backfield, with Gus Edwards trading off duties with Dobbins and Jackson looming as the team's actual top threat. A new coordinator would also presumably want Edwards and Jackson heavily involved if both are around in 2023 (Edwards, the team's most powerful short-yardage threat, is under contract for next season). Such multipronged attacks are more prevalent than workhorse running backs in the modern NFL. But maintaining such balance while also giving Dobbins the work he has earned will be a weekly challenge."
Can the Ravens restore a sense of purpose to their passing game?
"Their offense was never built on a great volume of pass attempts, but over Roman's four seasons, it fell from one of the most efficient play-action attacks in the league to one of the least efficient. Even if their identity, built around Jackson and the elite running production he guarantees, remains similar, a new coordinator will have to find ways to make the passing game work more in concert with what they do well. Teams such as the Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and yes, the 2019 Ravens under Roman, have showed this is possible."
Could Demarcus Robinson Be Part of the Solution at Wide Receiver Next Season?
Earlier this week, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson took to Twitter to express his opinion that the Ravens will be special next season. It was interesting coming from Robinson since he is a pending free agent.
One of the Ravens' top priorities this offseason is rebuilding its wide receiver room. Could Robinson be part of that rebuild?
Robinson, 28, signed with Baltimore in August after he was cut by the Las Vegas Raiders. The seven-year veteran went on to lead Ravens wide receivers in receptions (a career-high 48) and yards (458). Robinson had a career-high nine catches for 128 yards in a Week 10 win over the Carolina Panthers and caught a 41-yard touchdown in the playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Resigning Demarcus Robinson should be one of the first moves made," Baltimore Beatdown’s Zach Canter wrote.
Taking note of Robinson's tweet, Russell Street Report’s Richard Bradshaw wrote: "This isn't something to take lightly, as Demarcus Robinson has been a part of some special teams during his NFL career, including the Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs. For Robinson to say this, he obviously feels that things are going right for the Ravens' future and perhaps he knows something that we don't?
"Robinson played a large role for the Ravens in 2022 with a banged up wide receiver corps, as he led the position in receptions and yards. Many Ravens fans have expressed their interest in him returning for 2023 after playing a solid role for the team in 2022. Perhaps he also has some share interest in a return?"
Robinson spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs, where he proved to be durable and dependable in the WR3/4 role.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook said Robinson is "a personal favorite whom I've long seen as a player poised to produce with more targets."
"No matter the passer, you can count on Robinson as a quality supporting cast member," Shook wrote. "That deserves some praise."
Sports Illustrated Predicts Likely Outcome for Jackson Situation
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr looked at the 2023 quarterback carousel and potential outcomes. Regarding Jackson, Orr said the likely outcome is that he'll be back with Baltimore.
That makes sense given that Harbaugh and General Manager Eric DeCosta have made it clear that they want Jackson to be a Raven for the long haul, and Jackson has previously expressed his desire to sign a long-term deal with Baltimore.
"Baltimore would be remiss if it didn't give Jackson one more shot, perhaps on the franchise tag, to see what he can do post-Greg Roman," Orr wrote. "Roman did a great job as the team's coordinator, but all relationships run stale at some point."
Orr provided an alternative outcome for each quarterback. For Jackson, it's a trade to the Atlanta Falcons.
"Jackson would give the franchise stability and a draw at the box office," Orr wrote.
● Center Tyler Linderbaum made NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger’s top 10 rookies list.