One day after Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson went on the Rich Eisen Show and said opposing defenses are calling out their offensive plays, offensive coordinator Greg Roman answered questions from the media about his quarterback’s comments.
While there’s obviously concern from Ravens fans and questions surrounding Jackson’s comments, Roman added that calling out plays isn’t something brand new in the NFL world.
“With no fans in the stands, bands or music playing, you can hear a lot right about now,” Roman said. “Some of it I can’t repeat...Calling out plays on a defense is nothing new, I can talk about Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, every play they’re trying to guess what play you’re gonna run based on what they’re seeing. That’s the chess match.”
Roman, who credited Jackson’s winning traits in his answer, said all good offenses have certain tendencies that opposing defenses can hone in on. The Ravens' tendencies are clearly defined.
“If you’re not good at anything, you have no tendencies,” Roman said. “You really want to work to be good at everything. If you're in the best possible situation, you can do basic things very well and people still can’t stop you — I think that’s what you’re always striving to do. But that doesn’t always work in the NFL, that doesn’t work all the time, you’ve got to change it up. We’re very aware of our tendencies, we’re aware that there are some right now.”
The Ravens have run the ball 266 times this season compared to 216 pass attempts — a 55.1 percent run-rate. In 2019, they ran the ball 596 times compared to 440 pass attempts — a 57.5 percent run-rate.
They still lead the NFL in rushing yards per game (170.1) but are 31st in passing (176.8) in the area they thought would be most improved from a year ago. Numerous offensive players have said they feel the offense is close to breaking through over the last few weeks.
Defenses throughout the NFL know what the Ravens are at this point, meaning it's up to themselves to create more mismatches and make themselves more unpredictable if defenses are aware of what’s coming.
Roman said Jackson has some ability to call audibles at the line of scrimmage, but he doesn’t have free reign to do what he pleases, or the restrictions that leave him unable to call anything.
“When you’re good at something and you can keep pressing that button, then you have the opportunity to flip the script at some point moving forward,” Roman said. “There’s a little bit of a chess match there as far as that goes. As far as defenders guessing what we do, they’re going to be right sometimes and they’re going to be wrong sometimes. I think we know that. It’s definitely an element of the game. It always has been and always will be.”