Ravens' Lamar Jackson Adding Even More to Plate

Lamar Jackson is feeling even more confident heading into Year 2 under Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 28, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Championship football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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For his first year in a new offense, Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson had about as impressive of a showing as anyone could hope for.

Last offseason, the Ravens brought in former Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken to fill the same position, replacing the much-maligned Greg Roman. Monken brought a much-different flavor to the offense, especially in the passing game, and Jackson thrived because of it.

The dual-threat sensation completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 3,678 yards (both career-highs) with 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 821 yards and five touchdowns en route to winning his second MVP award.

Heading into Year 2 under Monken, Jackson believes this offense has even more room to grow.

"I believe our offense is taking steps in the right direction right now," Jackson told reporters. "We can't really ... We don't really know who the guys are going to be right now. We're not in camp. We're not close to the first game or anything like that. But right now, I feel like we're taking steps in the right direction. Guys are moving good, running great routes, catching the ball, blocking good. We look pretty smooth, but I can't tell until we're in pads."

Baltimore finished fourth in total offense and sixth in scoring offense last season, but has even greater goals in mind this season. With Jackson having a year under his belt in this system, the Ravens coaching staff is trusting him to run the offense with even greater efficiency.

"You're not going to give a guy keys to the Ferrari and tell him to do 30 [miles per hour], and so that's really what it is," quarterbacks coach Tee Martin said. "Sometimes as coaches, you can't be scared when they make mistakes, and you can't allow the mistakes that they make to put fear in your heart for not calling that play the next time, because without that, there is no growth.

"With Lamar, I tell him, 'Hey man, No. 1, whatever hits your brain first, we're going to live with it, and as long as we're all on the same page, it's not a wrong call. It's not a bad call.' So, that's where it starts, and that gives him the confidence and freedom to go out there and confidently do what he wants to do, and as long as they believe in him and whatever call he makes, I think we have a higher chance of executing."

It goes without saying that Jackson's command of the offense will be critical to winning that ever-elusive championship, so the Ravens giving him even more responsibility should be a great sign of what's to come.

"I'm focusing on just getting better and focusing on tomorrow," Jackson said. "We just had a great practice. We're just trying to keep it going."

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO