Isaiah Likely confident Ravens’ new offense will create havoc

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely excelled when he was elevated into the starting role when Mark Andrews was sidelined seven weeks with an ankle injury.

Likely became a primary target for quarterback Lamar Jackson and scored six touchdowns over the final seven games. Entering his third year, Likely is poised to have an even bigger impact on the Ravens’ passing game.

Likely thinks the Ravens’ offense can be even more effective than last season, especially with the addition of running back Derrick Henry. He is also likes the Ravens’ current group of wide receivers that includes Rashid Bateman, Zay Flowers, Nelson Agholor and rookie fourth-round pick Devontez Walker,

“Not only do you have Lamar in the backfield, you have Derrick Henry in the backfield, where you also have to worry about our run game,” Likely said on the “Up & Adams Show” on FanDuel TV. “You have All-Pro Mark Andrews, where you obviously have to give credit where credit is due. Then you also have great receivers like Zay and Bateman and then also you have me.

“You have to worry about anybody at any point in time in the offense going the distance. When you play the Ravens, you have to worry about everybody going the distance.”

Ravens coach Harbaugh expects all three tight ends — Andrews, Likely and Charlie Kolar — to play key roles next season. In addition, the Ravens have the versatile Pat Ricard, who can play fullback and tight end and added Joe Evans, an undrafted player from Iowa who has the potential to play on both sides of the ball. 

Second-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken will be creative in getting all three tight ends involved in the offense.

“The young tight ends evolving and growing is going to be a big part of what we’re doing,” Harbaugh said at this week’s owners’ meetings. “There’s no doubt. I think Charlie is going to take a big step. Isaiah is going to take even another big step. He took a big step last year. He’s a talented guy. So, [we have] those two guys.

“Mark is a star. He’s one of the superstars in the National Football League. They’re all receiving tight ends. They’re all willing blockers.”

Despite missing six games with fractured fibula and ligament damage in his left ankle, Andrews still ranked second on the team with 45 receptions for 544 yards and six touchdowns, the best among the receivers.

The Ravens didn’t select a tight end in this year’s NFL draft.

“I think we’re in a really good place at tight end,” Harbaugh said.

Likely knows his versatility will be an asset.

“Really just being there when my number is called,” Likely said of his role in 2024. “I showed that I also can be in the slot, out wide on myself, in-line tight end or in the backfield, really that gadget for the offense. I told myself,’ just be the chess piece of the offense, just make plays when plays aren’t there to be made and then just show everyone that when the ball is in my hand, anything can happen.'”

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