There really isn’t more that Lamar Jackson can accomplish statistically.
After an MVP season where he led the league in touchdown passes (36) and rushed for more yards than a quarterback ever had before (1,206), there are not many areas where Jackson didn’t shine last season.
One area where coach John Harbaugh sees room for improvement, though, is on deep passes.
On a question-and-answer conference call with Ravens’ season-ticket holders Thursday, Harbaugh discussed the desire to add an element of the offense the Ravens didn’t excel at last season.
"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 got to make them pay for it,” Harbaugh said. “We absolutely have to make them pay. 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."
The Ravens drafted wideouts Devin Duvernay and James Proche in April’s draft, and now likely boast the league’s fastest offense. And with teams so focused on stopping the run game from Jackson and Mark Ingram, over-the-top throws are waiting to be had.
According to Warren Sharp at sharpfootballstats.com, the Ravens had 48 “explosive” pass plays last season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. Explosive plays are considered passes of 15 or more yards.
“The thing that we tried to build is an offense that allows us to do basically whatever we want to do, or whatever we need to do based on what the defense presents to us,” Harbaugh said. “We want to attack the width and depth of the field.”
The Ravens will have a healthy Marquise Brown at wide receiver in 2020, as well as a young offense a year removed from being the best in the NFL.
If Jackson is able to expand upon what he did in 2019, there’s not much defenses can do to slow down the Ravens’ offense.
"We should have guys more open, and we should have bigger plays,” Harbaugh said. “We should create more opportunities in the pass game because of that run game."
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