Jackson will continue to compete, but perhaps not as often.
It has been widely anticipated that Lamar Jackson’s previous injury and the Ravens’ recent switch in offensive coordinators will require Baltimore’s quarterback to rely more on his arm and less on his legs going forward.
Jackson told the reporters at OTAs that he will run fewer yards this year. He declared that in 2023 he will “absolutely” run less and that he is impressed with Todd Monken’s offence thus far.
Running won’t get you very far. Jackson remarked, “I feel like we need it with this new era of teams and offences in the league.
His remarks about Jackson’s future offensive role resembled those made recently by the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator.
“I think the more talented you are around your quarterback, the less he has to take on that burden and shoulder the load, because you’re excited about getting others the football where they can utilise their skill set,” said Monken. “I believe that question sort of solves itself.
As your career progresses, you should do your utmost to relieve the player of some of that burden. But he also has a special quality and a special set of abilities. You can’t entirely remove that from his toolkit since using his feet is a very effective weapon for both him and us.
Jackson’s refusal to run was compared by Monken to Brett Favre’s request to stop threading the needle during his Hall of Fame tenure. Like Jackson’s running, Favre’s risk-taking helped him and his teams succeed greatly. This was especially true for the late 1990s Packers, who participated in back-to-back Super Bowls and three straight NFC championship games, winning one of them.
However, just as Jackson’s running has consequences, so did Favre’s gunslinger mindset. In three different NFC championship games, Favre threw three costly interceptions, each of which led to heartbreaking defeats. Jackson missed a total of 10 games over the previous two seasons because he was unable to finish. Without Jackson in 2021, the Ravens didn’t make the playoffs. When Jackson watched Baltimore’s wild-card playoff loss from home in 2022, they were quickly out.
Jackson can be compared to Steve Young historically, who used his legs to score 43 touchdowns with an average of 5.9 yards per run throughout his Hall of Fame career. However, as Young grew older, he began to use his legs in addition to his other body parts. Young made Super Bowl XXIX history by being the first quarterback to lead both teams in rushing. However, Young’s Super Bowl record-breaking six touchdown throws in the 49ers’ rout of the Chargers that game will always be remembered more.
The justification the Ravens used for employing Jackson in the manner they have is false. Jackson has a 63.7% career completion rate. During his MVP season, he set a record for touchdown passes in the NFL. Jackson has the ability to open up defences with his arm, despite the fact that he may not have the same accuracy as Patrick Mahomes on deep passes. Furthermore, he wasn’t exactly treated well by the Ravens in the past in terms of his receiving group. This year, though, that won’t be the case thanks to the Ravens’ acquisitions of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., a three-time Pro Bowl selection, and first-round choice Zay Flowers.
Jackson’s arm appears to be leaned on more going ahead, based on what Jackson and Monken said. Monken took care not to provide any additional details about the Ravens’ offence this year, though. Monken avoided inquiries about whether the Ravens might use a fast-paced, spread-heavy attack, much how Muhammad Ali dove haymakers in his peak.
You want to be able to use every blade of grass, he continued, spreading the field. What establishes that? Your capacity to perform that. having enough players to use all of that, which would require the respect of the defence.