John Harbaugh, Lamar Jackson brainstorming to improve Ravens’ offense

OWINGS MILLS – At the end of each season, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reflects on what he could have done better and what the team needs to reach the Super Bowl.

This thorough self-reflection is another thing that separates him from other players, according to coach John Harbaugh.

“There is no ‘one’ football thing. I think he’s looking at every aspect of his game,” Harbaugh said. “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 … 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.”

The Ravens’ offense will look different next season with the addition of running back Derrick Henry, a four-time Pro Bowler and the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Harbaugh is excited about how the team is evolving under offensive coordinator Todd Monken, who will be in his second year with the team.

Jackson thrived under the new offensive scheme last season, picking up his second NFL MVP award in four years.

He threw for 3,678 yards and 24 touchdowns with career highs in completion percentage (67.2) and yards per completion (8) over 16 regular season games. He also led the Ravens with 821 yards rushing, averaging 5.5 yards per carry and five scores.

Jackson’s seven 50-yard rushing games gave Jackson 54 in his career, tying Michael Vick’s all-time mark for quarterbacks. He also became the first quarterback to run for 700 or more yards in five consecutive seasons.

The Ravens lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game last season. The goal is to go farther this season and win the Super Bowl with Jackson under center and the addition of Henry.

“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.”



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