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Has the NFL figured out Lamar Jackson


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3 hours ago, CP3MVP said:

We have to start talking about Harbaugh being an overrated HC

Really? I mean I think most observers think he's good and give him proper respect, but i don't hear overwhelming praise being heaped on him.

He runs a steady program, has consistent success, usually has his teams ready to play, and doesn't habitually monumentally F up games.

Some of his crap annoys me sometimes, but what more can you realistically expect out of a coach as a fan? I'd be glad to have him coaching my team.

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8 minutes ago, BayRaider said:

They have stopped him running because they don’t respect him passing. He simply has not shown the ability to take over games passing when they take away his legs.

I’m not sure that’s entirely fair when Dez is our best receiver and we can’t catch a cold. Also our route combinations seem pretty basic in a bad way, and our O-line is mostly buried in the fallen warriors haunted graveyard

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Too much going on to comment to every idea specifically, but I’ll just give my own two cents here. TL;WR? Ravens have regressed because of all the stuff in bold. Lamar’s regression is fixable, however the OL and scheme are the two biggest issues facing the offense.
1. Lamar Regression
Lamar has absolutely regressed as a passer. Mainly he’s actually improved his spiral consistency as it releases from his hand, but his footwork has been much more muddied this season, just simple stuff like where his feet are pointing is killing his accuracy on some of his deeper throws. Clearly being drilled in a non-COVID impacted offseason will pay dividends on this front. The biggest issue however has been Lamar’s regression as an anticipatory thrower this season. Last year, some of the looks we saw last game would have been deep ball TDs to Hollywood or Andrews. You can’t leave those plays on the board against good/great teams and win more often than not. This regression seems to have been caused by the regression in our OL, particularly along the IOL. He’s seemingly developed more happy feet and has taken his focus from his field vision. This has allowed for his vision to get muddied and later reads.

2. Significant OL Regression:
Lamar has also been late in making his reads, but he’s gotten killed behind our OL this season as a passer, even when they block well, refs have allowed some absurd late hits his way all season (but that’s beside the point). I think many opposing fans overrated this OL last season, to a degree. It was absolutely a top 5-10 unit in the league last season. But it was that highly ranked because it was a top 3 run blocking OL, while the pass blocking was more like top 12-14.

Which is still a good unit, but what the obvious holes were with the replacement levels at C and LG in Bozeman and Skura that were covered up by the over-abundance of talent elsewhere. However losing Yanda instantly cratered the interior unit. So coming into this season we had “only” Orlando Brown Jr and Stanley as impact OL. However Brown Jr came into the year out of shape and was a near turnstile through the first 4 weeks. Skura regressed to below average after the knee injury return. And we replaced Yanda with one of the worst OL in the league this season, in Tyre Phillips; And I’m not over-exaggerating that point. Bozeman actually improved this season; He’s an above average LG, for sure. So to start the season the OL was a bottom 10 pass blocking unit that Lamar was using his mobility to uplift, yet they got him killed enough that he started developing that terrible happy feet tendency.

Just when they started to right the ship with Brown Jr returning to form, Stanley went down. On the positive note however was Philips ALSO went down, forcing the coaches to replace him with a better player... only Skura got a cut on his hand and replaced Philips as a bottom 10 OL on the season with errant snaps that continued to impact the offense. Lamar bailed Skura out against the Colts, but the problems persisted against NE and Skura imploded the offense on multiple drives. The OL currently stands as a bottom 10 pass blocking unit. Lamar has bailed the unit out on more occasions than not. Our OL is currently just a smidge better at PB as the pass blocking unit in Cincy that got Joe Burrow killed. Yet Lamar won’t earn praises for the mobility and durability shown behind it, but I’m sure if he gets injured the narrative will be, “because he’s a mobile QB and not because he’s just behind a bad OL like any other QB that gets killed.”

3. Roman Scheme Regression: 
We were warned about this. But this is by far the biggest issue with the offense. I don’t play and prepare for football at a professional level, but when Dan Orlovsky breaks down your play on national TV and tells you what’s about to happen... and two weeks later, you run that SAME DAMN PLAY FOUR TIMES for 2 yard gain averages off it, with the only difference being that we replace Nick Boyle with Matt Skura as an extra blocker... like, what do you expect? Like literally when we run that play, I know what’s coming. Yet the only counter we have to take advantage of defensive over-agression on that play, has been a pass to FB Pat Ricard to the flats for a 4 yard gain. LOL. But its not just that play. Once you understand the motion is just smoke and mirrors to see how the defense is aligned and attacking that play, defenses just shift late to attack the play post snap. But when you run 65% of the time on 1st and 2nd down and when you have those tendencies without any tendency breakers, its led to our run offense being a mediocre unit in efficiency, even with strong running personnel at our disposal. We had the personnel to present a top 5-10 run blocking team, yet analytics and tendencies makes game planning against the Ravens offense, a far more simple task than it would be if we didn’t use such plays as often or if such plays had obvious tendency breakers to keep the defenses honest with their pursuit.

What’s more, Roman with our route distribution has been terrible. Too often we have receivers running in the same area that has led to multiple picks from Lamar. There is little route diversity in the receivers either. We don’t see Hollywood executing any deep comebacks to keep defenses honest in how they play him. We aren’t setting up defenses to take advantage of the opportunities they present. We also don’t consistently have enough receiving talent on the field to threaten defenses from loading up the box.

4. Receiver Talent:
Front office seemed to expect this WR unit to develop into gangbusters or something based on how they executed this past draft. Hollywood has regressed, but he’s also been bracketed by defenses on enough occasions. Andrews is an AP level talent, but he’s consistently seeing double teams on almost EVERY play. When defenses aren’t doubling him, its a big play because Lamar to Andrews is like a homing beacon. Lamar needs another elite catch radius receiver to open things up for Andrews and Hollywood. That will make the offense, in and of itself, far more explosive. A guy like a Tee Higgins kind of option. The Ravens need to come away with Justyn Ross (if he declares) or DeVonta Smith from this draft class or they’re absolutely doing it wrong. If they continue with Roman at OC, he’s never going to appropriately scheme WRs open for tons of wide open opportunities, thus having an elite weapon that can win in 1v1 but also has a great catch radius will help Lamar as his accuracy will never be that of an elite QB, but he certainly has the ability to get it to the area where a great WR will take advantage.

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OK first off, the notion that Harbaugh is somehow diminished by the O's struggles is just way off-base.   If there's blame, it falls squarely on OC Greg Roman's shoulders, coaching-wise.   Remember, this is the same dude that used the EXACT SAME GAME PLAN facing LAC 3 weeks later after roasting them in the regular season - only to have no answer for their 7-DB plan.   And ZERO in-game adjustment.  2020 is a rinse and repeat from that 2018-to-2019--playoff exit formula.  Roman gets a ton of credit for designing the scheme that got the most out of Lamar's abilities - but he also gets a HUGE deduction for his lack of adaptation.   D's are figuring how to take Lamar's easy runs away, and they're jumping the known routes - and Roman's done ZERO adjustment.  

The other part alluded to was the OL injuries, and the WR talent.  But in reality, those are issues teams deal with all the time - and transcendent talent overcomes it.   As a passer, Lamar's nowhere close to a transcendent pocket passer.   But this isn't all on him, either.    His running ability and threat are what made his pass game skills play up - but the scheme's lack of adaptability to the D's adjustments speaks volumes to Roman's flaws, too.

Lamar still needs to develop as a passer.  But he's come a long way since his Louisville days, too.   The bigger issue IMO is that Roman's not likely going to adapt the scheme further, so we'll need to see OL improvements (with Stanley back, not hard to bank on that, but losing Yanda was a massive blow as well) and Lamar progression for BAL's O to evolve.   I don't think counting on Roman adapting is a good bet at all.

Edited by Broncofan
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Ray Lewis said it best about running QB's. There's too many smart guys that will study every single tendency you have and eventually you will get figured out and they will no exactly how to limit your ability to run. If you can't sit in the pocket and win games if you need to, then you are just a timebomb to become average. Happens to all of them. Even Mahomes looks significantly less spectacular when you limit his ability to run like a few games last year. 

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20 hours ago, AkronsWitness said:

By saved, I mean pivoted and designing a offense around the QBs ineptitude passing the ball.

And yes, if Jackson can't figure out how to throw a football he will be out of the NFL in 4-5 years. There is only so much running around you can do to surprise defenses. Just like Tebow.

Tebow had a strong defense that was carrying them enough for him to make a few plays at the end when the other defense was exausted and he could get away with some college level plays. 

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2 minutes ago, lancerman said:

Tebow had a strong defense that was carrying them enough for him to make a few plays at the end when the other defense was exausted and he could get away with some college level plays. 

He had a good defense sure, but so does Jackson and Jacksons supporting run game is stronger as well.

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11 minutes ago, lancerman said:

Ray Lewis said it best about running QB's. There's too many smart guys that will study every single tendency you have and eventually you will get figured out and they will no exactly how to limit your ability to run. If you can't sit in the pocket and win games if you need to, then you are just a timebomb to become average. Happens to all of them. Even Mahomes looks significantly less spectacular when you limit his ability to run like a few games last year. 

The problem is you are assuming all "running QBs" are the same. If someone like Lamar a) is better at running than all other running QBs, b) is proficient at going through his progressions, c) has good accuracy and anticipation in short and intermediate routes over the middle, and c) comes into the league when read/option, RPOs are standard plays, then your old formula is moot. 

Now, Lamar's ceiling may be limited depending on how much he improves on his deep throws and intermediate throws outside the numbers, sure. 

But assuming that "running QBs" will never be successful is just naive. Nobody thought you could win in the NBA with jump shooters until the Warriors got the players and a system that destroyed the league. The NFL changes over time. Ray Lewis's era was considerably different than today. 

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15 minutes ago, AkronsWitness said:

He had a good defense sure, but so does Jackson and Jacksons supporting run game is stronger as well.

Lamar Jackson IS the run game. They were a 31st ranked unit when Jackson took over in 2018 and transformed them into one of the greatest rushing attacks in league history. 

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23 minutes ago, ttitansfan4life said:

He’s always been a meh passer. The Titans are absolutely terrible on defense and he struggled to throw to some wide open guys. A lot of balls sail on him.

He can improve his passing but I don't think balls sailing on him is a problem. Some of his throws are late/underthrown. Maybe you are thinking of Cam Newton? 

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On 11/23/2020 at 8:37 AM, ET80 said:

Do we? I mean, given that the Ravens are still in the playoff hunt, I'm hesitant to take any discussion that far.

This team did lose one of the best LTs in football. That's going to have a residual effect on everything, you don't just plug and play with that replacement.

He’s won 1 playoff game since the Super Bowl run in 2012. 

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This is very similar to the Rams from 2018-2019, and very few people gave Goff the leeway they've giving Jackson. Sure, Goff struggled some toward the end of 2018, but he also won a playoff game, which Lamar hasn't done.

In 2019, we lost one of the best guards in the NFL and the OL got MUCH worse, Gurley went form the best RB in the league to one of the worst (which has proven out this year with ATL) and our WRs faced some injury issues.

Guessing very few of you paused to think about that before claiming that he's trash.

Now, I happen to think you tell more about a QB with an average supporting cast - so yes, I think Lamar is nowhere near as good as his MVP season and don't think he will ever be that good again (and I do think Goff is just an average QB too). The NFL was always going to catch up with a full year of tape - he needs to get better as a passer, even accounting for the drops.

 

 

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