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John Harbaugh: Next step for Lamar Jackson is improvement on deep throws

Peter King and Chris Simms explain why Baltimore's offense doesn't need elite wide receivers in order to still be effective.

The Ravens are going to look a lot like they did last season on offense, coach John Harbaugh told season ticket holders in an online Q&A on Thursday.

Lamar Jackson won the MVP award by running 176 times and throwing 401 passes. Twenty-five quarterbacks threw more passes than Jackson last season.

Harbaugh doesn’t want to see Jackson throw more but have more (completed) throws downfield.

“Those corners are going to be one-on-one and those safeties are going to be one-on-one against receivers, especially on some downfield throws, and we’ve got to make them pay for it. We absolutely have to make them pay,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “The ability to make them pay for tilting their defense toward stopping our run game with a really, really efficient passing game, I do believe that’s the next step of this offense. I really do believe Lamar is going to take the next step.”

On throws that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, Jackson ranked 27th in completions (35) and 22nd in completion rate (43.8 percent), per Hensley. Jackson was 6-of-17 on such throws in the divisional playoff loss to the Titans.

“We should have guys more open and we should have bigger plays, and we should create more opportunities in the passing game because of that run game,” Harbaugh said.