John Harbaugh: Lamar Jackson will throw when it’s time to throw, and run when it’s time to run
Now that the Ravens have quarterback Lamar Jackson officially under contract for the next five seasons, the team can turn to installing its new offense under new coordinator Todd Monken.
Baltimore has added pieces like Odell Beckham Jr., Zay Flowers, and Nelson Agholor to a group that already had Mark Andrews, Rashod Bateman, and Devin Duvernay.
It seems like the club is expecting all the pieces should translate to a stronger and more balanced offensive attack.
“[The offense] has a chance to be exciting and fun,” head coach John Harbaugh said during Thursday’s press conference. “It has a chance to be a winning offense — that’s what we always want to be. The expectations are always high. Like Lamar said, you go back to 2018 — that’s all you think about, is being as good as you can in every single way. This year is no exception, but I understand it’s kind of ramped up a little bit.”
“Now, we have our quarterback locked up. We always knew we would, but now it’s official, and it’s time to get to work.”
As Jackson moves into his second contract, there is some thought that the quarterback may need to run less to keep himself out of harm’s way. Jackson tends to avoid significant hits better than many QBs. But there is still a need to protect himself.
To that end, Harbaugh feels like the way Jackson sees the field will continue to help the quarterback make good decisions. The head coach said he doesn’t want to pull back on Jackson’s instincts because they’ve helped make the QB successful.
“There really is no conscious decisions along those lines in a sense that Lamar is a unique player,” Harbaugh said. “He plays — I say, sometimes we call it ‘Lamar ball.’ Right, Lamar? And I tell him all the time. I said, ‘You play like you play. You have a unique style because you are so unique.’ … There’s nobody like him, and there never will be as a player. So, ‘Let’s go be the best Lamar Jackson that God intended you to be.’
“I think Lamar is unique in the way he sees the field. He sees it in a snapshot. He doesn’t necessarily see it in a connect-the-dots progression. He takes a big-picture view of the field. … So, you trust that as a coach, and you allow — you don’t let, you encourage him to play the way he plays. So, I think he’s going to throw when it’s time to throw, and he’s going to run when it’s time to run. We’re going to play that kind of football, and it’s going to be great.”