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News & Notes: Tee Martin Likes the Way Lamar Jackson Is Handling New Offense

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

When the Ravens lined up for 11-on-11 reps during Thursday's OTAs, franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson stepped in to take some reps. Instead of huddling before plays, Jackson was making more decisions from the line of scrimmage, something he and Quarterbacks CoachTee Martin have been working on a as part of new Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken's system.

This is Martin's third season in Baltimore, but his first as a quarterbacks coach with the Ravens after serving two years as wide receivers coach. Martin feels good about the change and is excited to return to his roots.

"First of all, it's just great being back at my natural position. [It's] a position I grew up playing throughout my career," Martin said. "I started coaching quarterbacks, so it's like riding a bike."

Martin started his playing career as a quarterback, leading the University of Tennessee to a national championship in 1998 before getting drafted in the fifth-round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

His experience in both playing and coaching the quarterback position is what makes Martin able to relate to Jackson.

"Having someone that played the position that kind of sees the game very similarly, in terms of when you decide to do things like pass or run or decide to do something athletically that is hard to explain unless you have done it," Martin said. "I think there's a comfort level with that and when I say something to him or suggest something, it goes a little bit further. The comfort level is there, and the trust is there. [I'm] just looking forward to continuing to work.

"You're coaching a quarterback [Lamar Jackson] who's different than a lot of different other quarterbacks. The things we're doing with Coach Monken's system are a little different than what we've done here in the past and so we just adjust."

Monken's new offensive system is "very quarterback friendly," according to Martin. Jackson will have the opportunity to change plays, routes, and protections when need be at the line of scrimmage.

"Everything is built around Lamar, Martin said. "I went back and a lot of things I had done with players I had worked with in the past at the quarterback position, he's so different and so unique, so I just went back and revamped all the drills toward Lamar's movement skills and things that we do to improve him and continue what he has already built since he has been here as a rookie to get him to the next level and to the player he wants to be. That's what it's all about, improving his already great skillset."

After working with Jackson during OTAs the past two weeks, Martin thinks the franchise quarterback "is in a great place."

"Today we had a drill where he operated from the line of scrimmage a lot today and was very, very comfortable," Martin said. [He] got us in some really good pass situations and moved the ball down the field and did really well. As we go, he's getting more and more comfortable. It's still really early. That's positive, so I just look forward to him continuing to grow there."

Greg Lewis Thinks Zay Flowers Looks Fantastic

Since arriving in Baltimore for rookie minicamp, all eyes have been on first-round pick Zay Flowers.

Flowers' active role in practice has made a positive first impression on Wide Receivers Coach Greg Lewis.

"Zay [Flowers] has been fantastic," Lewis said. "He's an eager player, eager learner. [He] wants to be great – wants to be great at everything he does – and it's been fantastic to see him out here getting the opportunity to make some plays. His quickness and explosion show up daily, and how he catches the ball – the [focus] he takes with the ball … It's been fantastic to get him out here and get him going."

One of the main points of offseason emphasis for Executive Vice President & General Manager Eric DeCosta adding depth to the wide receiver room. Since Lewis was hired, the Ravens have made good on their promise by drafting Flowers, as well as bringing in Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor.

Adding these pieces to the offense is exciting, although Lewis views it as a "bonus." He's evaluating everyone in the group from a "clean slate," judging everyone based on how they perform in practice will determine the affect on the player.

"It's a tight-knit group." Lewis said. "They care about one another, they want to see each other do well, and that's been a positive. That's what I've been a part of a lot of the times as a player and as a coach in the NFL – is position groups are very tight, and they care about one another, and that's what you want to see. You want to see guys helping each other. At the end of the day, we know we're all not going to be here, but the 15th guy is getting helped by the first guy, or the second guy is getting helped by the 14th guy, or it could be vice versa. And you love that with guys at this level – to help each other get better – because iron sharpens iron, and we want to be the best we can be."

 Seeing Flowers at OTAs this past week has instilled Andrews with confidence in the potential of the offense being diversified.

"… From being out here the last two days, and, obviously, seeing Zay run some routes – he was running some incredible routes today and getting open. " Andrews said. "And then, obviously, 'OBJ' [Odell Beckham Jr.] and some of the other young guys that I'm excited about, I think it's going to be a dangerous offense. I've really loved what Coach [Todd] Monken has had to teach and the way he's teaching and his energy that he brings – very enthusiastic. So, I think the sky is the limit. I think for us, it's just about taking charge, taking control of this offense, making it ours and just keep on going, keep on working."

Devin Duvernay Active in Drills

Wide receiver Devin Duvernay, who underwent season-ending foot surgery in 2022, was actively participating in Thursday's practice. In 11-on-11 drills, Lamar Jackson targeted Duvernay frequently.

"[Devin Duvernay is] a true pro," Lewis said. "[He's] just coming out to work every day, getting opportunities and making the most of the opportunities that he's getting. But the big thing that stood out was just his professionalism in the meetings, on the practice field [and] whenever needed. He's been a true pro, and I love that about him. And then, obviously, at the end of the day, we all want guys that are going to make plays, and you saw it today. He's getting an opportunity, and he's making some plays out there, and that's always a positive, because that's what we're going to be graded on."

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