OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson showed progress throwing the ball deep downfield at the recent voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp.
Jackson's strides were underscored by a 50-yard pass that hit veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins in stride as he was running down the sideline.
Jackson is focused on improving a passing game that ranked last in the NFL this year.
So far, so good.
"People are always saying we throw short, intermediate routes and stuff like that – little five-yard, 10-yard routes," Jackson said. "But we had some chances last year. We hit some of them, but we’re just trying to be more consistent this year, and that’s where the strides happen. It starts in practice, and hopefully, it transitions to the game. We’ve just got to keep working on it.”
The Ravens have taken dramatic steps to upgrade the passing attack. Baltimore signed Watkins in free agency and added Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace via the NFL draft.
They will compliment a group of wide receivers already on the roster, including Hollywood Brown, Deon Cain, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche.
Baltimore also has two solid tight ends in Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle.
Perhaps, though, the Ravens' biggest additions are with the coaching staff.
In February, coach John Harbaugh hired Keith Williams as the new pass-game specialist and Tee Martin as the wide receivers coach. Both Williams and Martin have extensive experience working with young players and should be a solid fit in Baltimore.
The personnel has changed but the goal remains the same: winning a Super Bowl.
“Man, because we fell short three years in a row since I’ve been here," Jackson said. "And I’m always seeing teams, when they get there, it’s hard work, preparation, stuff like that. We’re watching highlights and stuff like that on TV. And it’s like when they win it, it’s like your whole life just changed. It’s not even a change; it’s like the excitement I see.
"The feeling … Like holding the [Lombardi] Trophy up and stuff like that. So, I chill during the offseason. I’m going to work, but I chill just focusing on that if that makes sense. I’m trying to … I don’t know; my mind is just different. I’ve got to get it. I’ve got to get one – at least one.”