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Ravens' Offense Continues to Evolve With Lamar Jackson at Helm

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

The Ravens have a unique quarterback in Lamar Jackson and are still exploring ways to take advantage of his skillset.

Acquiring star running back Derrick Henry in free agency creates more possibilities for Jackson and Baltimore's offense. The process of reshaping the attack is already underway as Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken enters his second season.

Head Coach John Harbaugh is eager to see how the new elements to Baltimore's offensive approach will take shape.

"It'll look different, there's no doubt about that," Harbaugh said. "That's the one thing we believe in – keeping it moving. You can never keep it the same."

Jackson won his second MVP award last season and took his passing game to a different level with career highs in passing yards (3,678) and completion percentage (67.2%). However, Jackson still led all quarterbacks with 821 rushing yards and his ability to stress defenses with his running is something the Ravens don't want to disappear.

With five 1,000-yard seasons and almost 10,000 career rushing yards, Henry is the most accomplished running back Jackson has ever played with. Henry's presence could mean that Jackson will have fewer rushing attempts next, but Harbaugh isn't certain that will be the case.

"Lamar is going to play the way Lamar plays, and that's what I'm for," Harbaugh said. "I love the way he plays the game. I think he's intuitive and intelligent, just a phenomenal football player. He sees the game in very unique ways and very smart ways, so I'm for him playing the way he plays. I think that Derrick Henry being there, plus Lamar, plus the other guys, it's a good formula."

The thought of Jackson and Henry working together in run-pass options plays is something that will give opponents plenty to think about. But Harbaugh said he wants RPO's to part of the offense, not a dimension that the Ravens will be reliant upon.

"I think we're in the right place with our RPOs," Harbaugh said. "I don't think it's something that we're going to like go wholesale towards, because Lamar has got so many different ways he plays the game, and there are other things we like to do, to be honest with you.

"I don't see us going towards like [a] specific offense that runs those more than anybody else. RPOs will be a part of what we're doing, for sure, but they're not going to be the main part of what we're doing."

Jackson and Harbaugh have had recent conversations about the Ravens' offenseas the front office prepares for the draft and additional offseason personnel moves. Throughout his career, Jackson has seen opponents use different strategies to defend the Ravens, and he has ideas on how those defensive tactics can be countered effectively.

"He's got a lot of thoughts," Harbaugh said. "I think he's looking at every aspect of his game. He starts with himself; that's what I love about Lamar. [He asks,] 'What can I do better?' And that's why he continues to improve.

"Then, he goes to what we need, what we need schematically in his view, and he trusts the coaches. We talked and shared ideas schematically, also personnel-wise.

"We're kind of working on that now, and then, he'll come back, and he'll look at everything, and we'll want to know what he thinks. Like, 'Do you prefer this or this? Are you comfortable in this direction or that direction? What do you like? [Are there] any other ideas you had since we talked last?' Lamar will be part of the architecture. I believe he'll be a big part of the architecture of the offense."


594: John Harbaugh Discusses Lamar Jackson's Involvement in Evolving Offense

Our insiders, Garrett Downing and Clifton Brown, discuss what we learned from John Harbaugh's time with the media at the annual league meetings. Harbaugh shared insight into the team's plans to address the offensive line, as well as Lamar Jackson's involvement in the offseason process.

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