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Zigging While the NFL Zags: A Personal Advantage

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I haven’t fully fleshed this thought out, but it occurred to me today that under Lamar, Baltimore has been the only team that has consistently rushed more than it has thrown, and that if the Ravens were to stick with this strategy it may create a key advantage in the draft, namely that players who are scheme fits for Baltimore may not fit the offensive schemes of most pass heavy teams throughout the league.  In some ways this is not dismilar to most of the 2000s where from 2002-2008 or so only three teams consistently ran a 34 defense, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New England, which essentially allocated the vast majority of 34 scheme fits across three teams, who not coincidentally tended to have top ranked defenses.  Similarly, if the Ravens commit to running this pistol based quasi flex bone scheme they will be drafting players for different attributes than the remainder of the league, which should increase the quality of the scheme fits they are able to draft.  I.e. mobile quarterbacks, what I will term slot backs - the Ty Montgomery’s and Cordarelle Patterson’s of the world that lack the shiftiness to be an every down running back and the hands to be a wide receiver but thrive in space, and bigger receivers / undersized tight ends that can block on the perimeter and have sufficient speed to be a threat to run deep.  Further, as an outlier offense, the Ravens would play teams every week that are not constructed to stop such a scheme. I believe running such an offense can be a path to long term success but doing so will require a full commitment next off season, such as carrying three mobile quarterbacks, sign free agents who thrived as athletes in college but have struggled to adapt in the nfl, and getting bigger at receiver. 

Thoughts?

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I think it makes sense. We’ve already sort of seen this with us carrying 4 TEs on the roster. We’ve already drafted a big receiver that has some downfield ability in Jaleel Scott (who is currently redshirting). That all said, I think while done differently the Cowboys have a similar focus offensively.

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I agree for the most part. If you're going to move forward with Lamar at QB, you might as well go all-in and build an offense around him as opposed to trying to force something more conventional. To me that means getting receivers that are good at improvising and breaking off routes (at the right time) when Lamar gets his feet moving. I don't necessarily see size being the big issue. Offensive line setup is going to be mostly the same. Tight ends are as you mentioned, luckily the Ravens are on the right track there. 

Nobody else can run something similar given Jackson's ability running the ball. Not even close. I agree Dallas is setup somewhat similarly but Elliot is the engine that drives their offense. 

For what it's worth everybody is looking for the tight ends that can get downfield, even if they're smaller. I think that's the trend now. Baltimore has two of them in Andrews and Hurst. You don't see a ton of the "traditional" tight ends anymore.

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I don't think we're the only team using this model. Seattle Seahawks are also pretty run heavy on the year (47.71% pass on the year). I don't think it's any mistake though that as most NFL teams look to pass more, a couple teams will buck that trend and go back towards running. As teams get smaller and faster, the NFL will begin to shift back to the running game. It's just the nature of the pendulum swing.

There isn't another team with the collection of minds that we have (between Marty, Roman and Urban) to develop this kind of offense for Lamar, and there isn't another team with the personnel to run it (because no other team has a Lamar Jackson). BUT, this all hinges on Lamar staying healthy AND teams not bottling up the run game. Those are two big factors when you're looking at a run-first offense.

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I don't think we have to apply some special roster to support Lamars skillset. As long as we win the battle up front on oline and receivers/tight ends know they have to keep running and find their way back to the football, we should have the pieces to work on offense. We could use a runningback who is a great pass catching option who can also play from the pistol. I still think Alex Collins could be that guy and while I don't think we can rely much on Dixon, going with Gus, Dixon, Collins and a late round runningback we should be solid.

Still think we need to do something to that interior and be prepared for Yandas retirement. Getting immediate push up front is more important than ever.

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On 12/16/2018 at 10:50 AM, Danand said:

Still think we need to do something to that interior and be prepared for Yandas retirement. Getting immediate push up front is more important than ever.

I hope Yanda does not retire, are there rumors that he might? He has one more year on his contract, I think the Ravens could convince him to play it out (especially if they add some bonuses). 

I wonder if the Ravens will target a Taysom Hill type QB in the later rounds as well. Someone tough enough to run it but also is a threat to throw.

I like having RGIII as a backup, but I'm not sure he has the agility or toughness to run it on a regular basis. Adding another dangerous runner/thrower to the mix could be interesting (maybe Nick Fitzgerald from Mississippi State?) . 

Edited by AngusMcFife
added example of player to draft

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On 12/15/2018 at 7:19 PM, alfalcone said:

I haven’t fully fleshed this thought out, but it occurred to me today that under Lamar, Baltimore has been the only team that has consistently rushed more than it has thrown, and that if the Ravens were to stick with this strategy it may create a key advantage in the draft, namely that players who are scheme fits for Baltimore may not fit the offensive schemes of most pass heavy teams throughout the league.  In some ways this is not dismilar to most of the 2000s where from 2002-2008 or so only three teams consistently ran a 34 defense, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and New England, which essentially allocated the vast majority of 34 scheme fits across three teams, who not coincidentally tended to have top ranked defenses.  Similarly, if the Ravens commit to running this pistol based quasi flex bone scheme they will be drafting players for different attributes than the remainder of the league, which should increase the quality of the scheme fits they are able to draft.  I.e. mobile quarterbacks, what I will term slot backs - the Ty Montgomery’s and Cordarelle Patterson’s of the world that lack the shiftiness to be an every down running back and the hands to be a wide receiver but thrive in space, and bigger receivers / undersized tight ends that can block on the perimeter and have sufficient speed to be a threat to run deep.  Further, as an outlier offense, the Ravens would play teams every week that are not constructed to stop such a scheme. I believe running such an offense can be a path to long term success but doing so will require a full commitment next off season, such as carrying three mobile quarterbacks, sign free agents who thrived as athletes in college but have struggled to adapt in the nfl, and getting bigger at receiver. 

Thoughts?

Tavon Austin is another name that falls in my list of scheme fits that have fallen out of favor with most of the league 

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On 12/17/2018 at 11:16 PM, AngusMcFife said:

I hope Yanda does not retire, are there rumors that he might? He has one more year on his contract, I think the Ravens could convince him to play it out (especially if they add some bonuses). 

I wonder if the Ravens will target a Taysom Hill type QB in the later rounds as well. Someone tough enough to run it but also is a threat to throw.

I like having RGIII as a backup, but I'm not sure he has the agility or toughness to run it on a regular basis. Adding another dangerous runner/thrower to the mix could be interesting (maybe Nick Fitzgerald from Mississippi State?) . 

If what round is it worth taking a flyer on Kyler Murray?

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5 hours ago, alfalcone said:

If what round is it worth taking a flyer on Kyler Murray?

Whatever pick used would be wasted given he's quitting football

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4 minutes ago, drd23 said:

Whatever pick used would be wasted given he's quitting football

Or, at least, he should. Baseball is easier on the body and if Murray can get to the majors the big money is guaranteed. 

I wouldn't spend anything above a 6th round pick on him. Baltimore gets too many productive players in the top five rounds to throw away a pick like that.

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9 hours ago, drd23 said:

Whatever pick used would be wasted given he's quitting football

I mean we took geriatric Hayden Hurst in the first he can’t be any worse

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5 hours ago, alfalcone said:

I mean we took geriatric Hayden Hurst in the first he can’t be any worse

Two wrongs don't make a right ;)

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