Jump to content
coordinator0

Ravens Offense - Evaluating the Receivers

Recommended Posts

So this is something that has been floating around in my head since before the draft when thinking about receiver prospects. And then it was really brought to the forefront after the Ravens drafted Dobbins and Phillips, reinforcing their commitment to the running game and the style of offense they envision from here on out. I don't think the offense is changing too much... and that's probably not a bad thing. It worked. The best the franchise has ever had and opposing franchises still aren't really building their defenses to stop it. So with that said:

How to you properly evaluate receiver production with the Ravens?

I think it's obvious that there won't be a ton of targets going any one way on a consistent basis. The lone exception is Andrews as long as he can stay healthy. But him and his role isn't really what I'm getting at. Receivers and their game-by-game evaluations specifically are what I want to hear some opinions on. 

For me, lets say at the end of the year, I don't think I will go to ESPN or whatever site you use to look up stats and use them to try and form a large part of my opinion on a receiver's season. If Duvernay and Proche actually see the field and are effective as they should be that makes five true receivers on the roster that are sharing a very limited number of targets. Brown will get yards and TDs by nature of his big-play ability, but if he doesn't put up 1000 yards I wouldn't be surprised at all. And it most likely wouldn't be an indictment on him. That's just the way the offense is setup. Then for a guy like Boykin he might see 50 targets on the season. What kind of raw numbers does that translate to for a good season? 35 catches, 500 yards, and 4 TDs? For most offenses that's a pretty pedestrian line, but for Baltimore's that's probably really good for what he's out there for. The same roughly goes for Snead and the rookies as well. The Ravens have a pretty diverse receiver group and if they are all used to fit their strengths that just dilutes the chances for big individual numbers even further.

I think we're going to have to look more situational stuff like first downs and drops (hopefully a lack of) to get a better feel than the normal stuff people usually cite. That seems to fall in-line with the huge emphasis on good hands the past couple of drafts too. If a receiver isn't going to get many opportunities then the few that do present themselves shouldn't be squandered. Efficiency is key. 

So I guess what I'm saying is if big stat lines aren't produced I'm probably not going to be banging the table for more receivers to be added next season. It was a need but as long as Boykin and Duvernay don't fall flat the team could be sitting pretty well. Obviously those guys could just flat-out suck but that's probably going to be easy to spot anyways. Bad drops and inability to get open in what should be an easy offense to do so stands out. Hollywood is a safe bet going forward and Proche likely isn't a huge piece regardless, just another weapon to throw out when the other guys are proven dangerous. But none of them are going to do it with traditional numbers for a good season by a wide receiver. 

What say you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the Ravens will definitely be passing more next year, moving away from heavy sets and more 3 WR. With the young guys they drafted they are definitely looking for types:

Hollywood is the WR1 who can get open
Boykin/Scott is the big WR
Duvernay/Proche is the fast dangerous guy in the slot 

I think they wanted the Duvernay/Proche guy to use on quick hitters, bubble screens, etc., to draw defenders away from the middle of the field. Maybe similar to Kingsbury/Kyler passing ideas. This makes the read option play utterly devastating. If you have a big WR on that side he can easily block down the nickel back, and give the slot guy a one-on-one in the open field with the CB. 

If either Duvernay or Proche can fill that role, it would add a new dimension to the offense, and make the defense have to spread horizontally across the field before the snap. Snead just doesn't have the speed to break tackles like that, and Hollywood goes down near contact. But adding a dynamic runner who is sure handed at WR really expands the offense. I think Lamars quick release is well suited for these throws.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, AngusMcFife said:

I think the Ravens will definitely be passing more next year, moving away from heavy sets and more 3 WR. With the young guys they drafted they are definitely looking for types:

Hollywood is the WR1 who can get open
Boykin/Scott is the big WR
Duvernay/Proche is the fast dangerous guy in the slot 

I think they wanted the Duvernay/Proche guy to use on quick hitters, bubble screens, etc., to draw defenders away from the middle of the field. Maybe similar to Kingsbury/Kyler passing ideas. This makes the read option play utterly devastating. If you have a big WR on that side he can easily block down the nickel back, and give the slot guy a one-on-one in the open field with the CB. 

If either Duvernay or Proche can fill that role, it would add a new dimension to the offense, and make the defense have to spread horizontally across the field before the snap. Snead just doesn't have the speed to break tackles like that, and Hollywood goes down near contact. But adding a dynamic runner who is sure handed at WR really expands the offense. I think Lamars quick release is well suited for these throws.  

I'm of this thinking as well. Boykin is about to drag his nuts in year two, you heard it here first!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think just based off numbers from last season and the recognition of how succesful our season was and the amount of leads we had in games, that our passing numbers will go up

Per the football database we had a total of 1064 plays with 596 rush plays and 468 pass plays. Depending on how Lamars scrambles effect the numbers (as they are pass plays by design), I think we will see closer to a 50% split - which could tilt either way depending on leads/playing from behind.

Anyways, Mark Andrews had close to a 100 targets last year, which leaves 400 pass plays to be divided between the rest. I think Lamar has already proved, that while he has clear favorites in Andrews and Brown, he isn't a locked in QB looking at only those two guys, so the rest will get their tocuhes as well, but I doubt it is more than 35 each for the receivers, which just emphasize, that we should not expect huge numbers from other receivers. With how we play, deep and clutch plays (3-4 down conversions) will be key and Duvernay fits both with his speed, toughness and hands. I doubt we will see much from Proche, unless it is schemed touches. He can't separate so it will take a lot of trust from Lamar to put the ball in his hands, so I think it will be a year similar to Snead for Proche at the most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i could see a significant increase on targets to RBs Hill and Dobbins.

41 receptions between Ingram/Hill/Edwards in 2019. i'll double that easily.
Rice alone had a good 70 rec per year so i'd consider Ingram/Hill/Dobbins to be share a healthy 100 receptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, berlin calling said:

Rice alone had a good 70 rec per year so i'd consider Ingram/Hill/Dobbins to be share a healthy 100 receptions.

A lot of those Rice receptions were bail outs because Flacco was under pressure.  If Lamar is under pressure he is far more likely to run it himself than just throw it to whoever is closest, so I don't see 100 targets for the RBs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they didn't take Hill to be the 3rd string runner only though did they. and Dobbins has some qualities as a pass catcher too so i do expect more scripted targets for the running backs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, drd23 said:

A lot of those Rice receptions were bail outs because Flacco was under pressure.  If Lamar is under pressure he is far more likely to run it himself than just throw it to whoever is closest, so I don't see 100 targets for the RBs

Especially in Cam Cam's offense, Ray Rice was the primary outlet as that offense had a lot of vertical routes, so it made sense to have Rice exploit the room between the rush and the coverage. Roman has a lot more crossers and players sitting down in zones in his offense which provides more outlets when Lamar is under pressure. 100 passes to RB's seems too high for me as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I side with @berlin calling Dobbins is a weapon in the passing game, he can be split out and run routes in the slot, he can be an outlet back as well, so with just him alone I see something like 40 targets with roughly 32 recs. Probably about 350 yds receiving.

Throw in Ingram with another 20 targets, 15 recs, for 130 yds receiving. Then if Hill is the 3rd back probably another 15 targets his way for 10 recs and 70 yds receiving. Something like 75 targets to the RBs. I think some of Hurst’s targets will be consumed by splitting out Dobbins and having him go 1on1 with a LB.

Historically speaking the Ravens have always had RBs with plenty of targets. Under Cam Cameron, Jim Caldwell, and Marty Mornhenwig. Sure Flacco loved to check down to the RB, but in an effort to protect Lamar do we not think Lamar will be instructed to check down to the RB more? No use putting his body on the line when he doesn’t need to and the RB can get you the same result. That said he should and will takeoff whenever afforded a great opportunity as well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

In terms of evaluating the other receivers, Lamar is passing for similar yardage as Flacco, should be somewhere around 3600 yds this season... just more efficiency. So whatever WR production came from our top weapons during that Flacco era should equate to roughly the same of our top WRs now. So who were some of our top options during those eras and what were their lowest- highest numbers?

Todd Heap: 403-599 yds
Derrick Mason: 802-1037 yds
Mark Clayton: 480-695 yds
TJ Houshmanzadeh: 398 yds

Anquan Boldin: 837-921 yds
Ed Dickson: 225-528 yds
Dennis Pitta: 405-729 yds
Torrey Smith: 767-1128 yds

Steve Smith: 799-1065 yds
Mike Wallace: 748-1017 yds


So I expect our top receivers to share roughly 1700 yds receiving. Then from there Boykin, Duvernay, and Snead (what I assume to be the trio of ancillary targets) should share some combination of 1300 receiving yards. Ideally one steps up for roughly 700 yds and becomes a true defensive focus and the rest staggers around 400 yds and 200 yds respectively. However how it shakes out is largely irrelevant; could be 500, 500, 300.

Lastly the biggest importance will be the TD numbers, the efficiency within the redzone needs to remain high and thus the top two targets need to be responsible for roughly 16 TDs and then the ancillary trio should contribute roughly 12 TDs, again how it staggers is largely irrelevant, but ideally one can step up as a go-to option that can get at least 6 TDs.

So all in all something like:

Hollywood Brown- 1050 yds, 8 TDs
Mark Andrews- 800 yds, 8 TDs
Miles Boykin- 700 yds, 6 TDs
Devin Duvernay- 400 yds, 4 TDs
Willie Snead- 200 yds, 2 TDs

With like I said above another 550 receiving yards coming from the RBs in some capacity. Lamar increasing his passing from that 3100 yds area to something closer to 3700-3800 yds over the next couple years before eventually bumping up to that 4000 yds mark when he starts to play a little more conservatively with his frame.

Edited by diamondbull424

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm honestly nervous about this whole "evolve the offense" to more of a 3 WR, pass-more-often offense that the coaches/media/fans have been talking about this offseason.

I'm sorry, but, why? We just went 14-2 running the ball basically every play. We had an all-time points per drive offense. We know our QB can throw and our WRs have potential. We don't need to prove anything to anyone. Just win games.

Was there a single game last year outside of the Titans where you sat there and thought, "Man, our lack of passing execution is really costing us this game"?

It's one thing if we go out next year, try our offense from last year and it gets stopped substantially more effectively and then decide to start opening it up in the passing game from there. But i'm not on board to switching to a new, more pass-happy offense right off the bat just because it "feels" like that'll be more effective. We proved last year that our offense is plenty effective running the ball down people's throats, and choosing our spots to pass (and when we do, effectively - we led the league in TD passes). 

Idk. Think people want to be the Chiefs a little too much. We very easily could have won a Super Bowl last year with our offense. Why change that because we had a bad game against the Titans when the entire team was just off that night after basically 2/3 weeks off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

I'm honestly nervous about this whole "evolve the offense" to more of a 3 WR, pass-more-often offense that the coaches/media/fans have been talking about this offseason.

I'm sorry, but, why? We just went 14-2 running the ball basically every play. We had an all-time points per drive offense. We know our QB can throw and our WRs have potential. We don't need to prove anything to anyone. Just win games.

Was there a single game last year outside of the Titans where you sat there and thought, "Man, our lack of passing execution is really costing us this game"?

It's one thing if we go out next year, try our offense from last year and it gets stopped substantially more effectively and then decide to start opening it up in the passing game from there. But i'm not on board to switching to a new, more pass-happy offense right off the bat just because it "feels" like that'll be more effective. We proved last year that our offense is plenty effective running the ball down people's throats, and choosing our spots to pass (and when we do, effectively - we led the league in TD passes). 

Idk. Think people want to be the Chiefs a little too much. We very easily could have won a Super Bowl last year with our offense. Why change that because we had a bad game against the Titans when the entire team was just off that night after basically 2/3 weeks off.

Bills, Niners, 1st Steelers game. It seems the "best" plan to beat us is 8 in the box and play zone while rushing 4. These teams played something similar (yes, I know they are also the better defenses we played).

I don't want us to become the Chiefs or abandon our identity, but we have to keep evolving and changing. Can't expect the passing TD % to continue. Implemented a more spread offense gives Lamar more space to work and makes the defense have to cover more ground.

I think we need to take more of what the defense gives us. I feel like last year we didn't do that as much. I think we also need to have more short passes/quicker passes along with our rushing game. I don't remember very many RPOs the latter part of the year. Also, spread the ball around more consistently.

Edited by M.10.E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be fair, we moved the ball well in the first Steelers game until we lost Marquise Brown. Without the ability to stretch the field, the Steelers defense just clamped on us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, M.10.E said:

Bills, Niners, 1st Steelers game. It seems the "best" plan to beat us is 8 in the box and play zone while rushing 4. These teams played something similar (yes, I know they are also the better defenses we played).

I don't want us to become the Chiefs or abandon our identity, but we have to keep evolving and changing. Can't expect the passing TD % to continue. Implemented a more spread offense gives Lamar more space to work and makes the defense have to cover more ground.

I think we need to take more of what the defense gives us. I feel like last year we didn't do that as much. I think we also need to have more short passes/quicker passes along with our rushing game. I don't remember very many RPOs the latter part of the year. Also, spread the ball around more consistently.

Idk - I feel like each one of those games had extenuating circumstances where the passing game wouldn't have worked regardless of how "evolved" it was.

In the Steelers game we lost our only legit downfield threat, and we still put up 26 points in a win.

The 9ers game was a literal monsoon - no team in the NFL was going to pass in those conditions that day. The 9ers themselves put up 157 passing yards so it's not like we were the only ones affected by the weather...those types of games are where even passing teams typically stick to the ground game to get you through, and we did just that.

The Bills game had like 40+ MPH winds...the ball was being affected even in the short time it took a shotgun snap to get back to the quarterback. And even then we still scored 24 points. Playing the 2019 Bills defense on the road in those conditions, 24 points is pretty damn solid.

 

I get having the option of going spread when we need it. Sure. But I just don't get this sentiment that people have all seemingly unanimously agreed upon this offseason that "we obviously need to keep changing and adapting in the form of getting more WRs on the field/throwing it more". I don't see it. Again - why? Our success last year was based on the fact that NFL teams' personnel just cant match up with our heavy-set, option based offense...that's not going to change in one offseason. If it happens to change, and we find our heavy-set run game being consistently stopped next year? Absolutely, go ahead and get those 3 WRs on the field and open it up with more passing like people are suggesting. I just don't see the argument in going into next season making that the primary, initial goal/approach of our offense when we're not even positive our offense from last year that we've already mastered is ready to be stopped. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Ray Reed said:

Idk - I feel like each one of those games had extenuating circumstances where the passing game wouldn't have worked regardless of how "evolved" it was.

In the Steelers game we lost our only legit downfield threat, and we still put up 26 points in a win.

The 9ers game was a literal monsoon - no team in the NFL was going to pass in those conditions that day. The 9ers themselves put up 157 passing yards so it's not like we were the only ones affected by the weather...those types of games are where even passing teams typically stick to the ground game to get you through, and we did just that.

The Bills game had like 40+ MPH winds...the ball was being affected even in the short time it took a shotgun snap to get back to the quarterback. And even then we still scored 24 points. Playing the 2019 Bills defense on the road in those conditions, 24 points is pretty damn solid.

 

I get having the option of going spread when we need it. Sure. But I just don't get this sentiment that people have all seemingly unanimously agreed upon this offseason that "we obviously need to keep changing and adapting in the form of getting more WRs on the field/throwing it more". I don't see it. Again - why? Our success last year was based on the fact that NFL teams' personnel just cant match up with our heavy-set, option based offense...that's not going to change in one offseason. If it happens to change, and we find our heavy-set run game being consistently stopped next year? Absolutely, go ahead and get those 3 WRs on the field and open it up with more passing like people are suggesting. I just don't see the argument in going into next season making that the primary, initial goal/approach of our offense when we're not even positive our offense from last year that we've already mastered is ready to be stopped. 

Fair, just trying to play devils advocate a bit.

In regards to the bold, we lost a player that made that work. We have to replace 457 snaps with a guy we're pulling off the street at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×