It’s safe to say the Ravens are doing everything in their power to keep star quarterback Lamar Jackson happy. It all started with the massive contract extension to keep him off the market and keep him in Baltimore. Making Jackson the NFL’s highest-paid player in annual average value (at the time) was only Step One.
While they were working on his contract, the team also did their best to revamp his weapons cabinet. They utilized their top draft pick on Boston College wideout Zay Flowers. They also brought in a few veteran free agents like Nelson Agholor and Odell Beckham Jr. to supplement Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, and company.
Soon after securing their quarterback of the future, the Ravens went to work getting him acquainted with new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken immediately advocated for empowering his quarterback, opting to abandon the huddle-first offense of Jackson’s past in favor of an attack that allows Jackson to audible and make adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
Now Monken has taken that empowerment a step further, allowing Jackson input into the offense’s playbook design, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Apparently, Jackson was browsing social media when he stumbled across some routes that piqued his interest. He sent them to his position coach, Tee Martin, and Martin forwarded them to Monken. Monken agreed with Jackson’s assessment and added them to the playbook.
Big money. New targets. New play-caller who values Jackson’s input. If Jackson had any doubts that the Ravens were dedicated to setting him up for success, he can probably put those doubts to rest.
Here are a few other rumors coming out of Charm City:
- After experimenting a bit at his fourth NFL position, Ravens four-time Pro Bowl fullback Patrick Ricard was back to his normal position this week at practice, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. The fullback/tight end hybrid had put in triple-duty in his first two NFL seasons, playing on the defensive line, as well. Lately, after his return from the physically unable to perform list, Baltimore has had Ricard working on the offensive line, potentially setting him up to compete for the open left guard spot. While Project Pat’s latest project wasn’t exactly a failure, he told head coach John Harbaugh that it was perhaps a project “for next year.” For now, Ricard was happy to be back in the role he’s comfortable with, a role he’s seen consistent success in.
- Ravens cornerback Trayvon Mullen was all over the Ravens transaction reports in July. He was released after failing to disclose a non-football injury before eventually being brought back and assigned to the reserve/NFI list. While Baltimore clearly sees something in the young Clemson alum, it seems they won’t be seeing it this year. According to Hensley, Mullen underwent toe surgery and could potentially miss the entire season in recovery. This adds to the litany of cornerback injuries the Ravens are currently dealing with. Marlon Humphrey is expected to miss the start of the season, while Rock Ya-Sin, Jalyn Armour-Davis, Damarion Williams, and Arthur Maulet have all been dealing with preseason injuries. The team signed Ronald Darby to address the festering wound, but Darby is coming back from a major injury himself after his 2022 season ended early with a torn ACL.
- As if Baltimore’s cornerbacks situation wasn’t bad enough, backup corner Daryl Worley informed Zrebiec this week that he’s been moved full-time to safety now. Worley claims that he hasn’t taken reps at cornerback at all this summer. Worley follows Brandon Stephens who also recently made the move back to his drafted position this offseason. This may be a testament to how confident the Ravens are in their young group of corners and new veterans to step up this year, but if things get much worse for the Ravens secondary, Worley and Stephens may find themselves bumping back out to cornerback, something Worley says he’s capable of doing if necessary.