Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston will reply followers’ questions all through the Ravens season. Coming off Baltimore’s 24-20 Week 6 loss to the New York Giants, loads of questions stay with Baltimore set to host the Cleveland Browns in a key AFC North showdown on Sunday.
Here’s Preston’s take:
(Editor’s word: Questions have been edited for size and readability.)
First of all, I actually respect your work, Mike. Keep it up; you’re a Baltimore sports activities writing legend in my e book. My query: Who do you set the blame on principally for the unlawful formation penalties? Coaches or gamers? It appears like each single week we have now one, going again to the beginning of the Greg Roman period of our offense.
— Lou LePore
Preston: Lou, thanks for the sort phrases.
Head coaches all the time and may get the blame. If you’re referring to the Giants recreation, when the Ravens have 10 penalties for 74 yards, let’s give some credit score to present New York and former Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. Those line of defense shifts shortly after the Ravens bought to the road of scrimmage brought about confusion and resulted in 4 false begin penalties, two every by proper offensive sort out Morgan Moses and fullback Patrick Ricard. Coach John Harbaugh stated the Ravens follow towards these forms of shifts, however it didn’t present in that recreation. Some of the penalties, like the 2 for pointless roughness, are from a scarcity of focus and self-discipline. A whole lot of the cross interference calls are “sudden” performs, however fixed holding from defensive backs generally exhibits a scarcity of pace. Regardless, the Ravens can’t win with so many penalties. Harbaugh has accepted accountability, now let’s see what he does about it.
Will Lamar ever notice his full potential in Baltimore? He does issues nobody else can, however the two or three routine throws he misses every recreation kills drives. Does he want a brand new offensive coordinator? Five years in, I don’t know if he’ll be capable of put collectively 4 video games like Joe Flacco did.
— @JBintheCave on Twitter
Preston: Let’s put all the pieces in perspective. In his first 4 years, I stored an eye fixed on Jackson’s mechanics, which at occasions had been poor. He would have a sidearm movement or throw off his again foot. Jackson has improved since his rookie season, however he won’t ever be a Tom Brady so far as throwing movement.
There are some who speculate that Jackson is making an attempt to make large performs as a result of he desires a brand new contract or as a result of he is aware of he’s the one constant playmaker on the workforce. I don’t consider in both. Jackson generally makes poor choices as a result of that’s his fashion. Once he picked up that fumbled snap Sunday I knew he was going to throw it as a result of he has finished it a number of occasions this season and it labored to his benefit. Sometimes it’s good to react and never suppose, however not in that scenario.
I’m snug with Jackson at quarterback. He could make performs together with his legs like no different quarterback within the historical past of this league. But he’s inaccurate as a thrower and I’m nonetheless undecided about him with the ability to learn coverages on the surface. With that stated, he’s like opening an previous field of “Cracker Jack” … you by no means know what prize shall be inside.
Can Jackson win a Super Bowl? Absolutely. He can’t carry an offense together with his arm, however he can get his workforce there if issues fall into place. If Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl, so can Lamar Jackson. As far as Jackson reaching his full potential right here in Baltimore, he isn’t going to get a lot better than what we’re seeing now.
He performs nicely early within the recreation or when the Ravens have a lead, however struggles in crunch time, particularly towards high quality opponents. In the fourth quarter this season, Jackson has a score of 54.9. That’s the time of the sport when quarterbacks grow to be nice, and legends are born. That’s the time of the sport when quarterbacks earn the large bucks.
The first 10-15 years in Baltimore, the Ravens entrance workplace all the time appeared to be forward of the curve in expertise analysis for the draft and free company, all the time having a number of gamers that would change the end result of a recreation regularly. Now the one actual game-changers/game-wreckers on the workforce are Lamar, Mark Andrews and Justin Tucker. The relaxation … appears to be a number of common, barely above common gamers, however no actual dawgs. Do you suppose it’s extra a matter of the remainder of the league getting higher with their scouting, and taking a few of the Ravens personnel? Or is it lastly time for recent voices and minds to be introduced in from the surface, to work inside The Castle? Thanks.
— Paul in Orlando
Preston: That’s an intriguing query Paul, however the backside line is that the Ravens should do a greater job of drafting. Missing from this workforce are game-changers or sudden-impact gamers. Some will level out that the Ravens are a sufferer of their very own success by usually drafting from the center to late elements of every spherical as a result of they’re all the time good. But Ray Lewis, Todd Heap and Ed Reed weren’t early first-round picks. They simply should work more durable, and including recent voices or concepts won’t be a nasty possibility.
On offense, the Ravens have some weapons apart from Jackson, however they should do a greater job of incorporating them into the sport plan. That falls to the coaches. Because of his pace, why not enable receiver Devin Duvernay to the touch the ball 10 occasions a recreation versus the one he had in Sunday’s recreation towards the Giants? Second-year receiver Rashod Bateman appears to have developed a robust relationship with Jackson on these slant-end patterns throughout the center, however these are rare. Running again Kenyan Drake had 10 carries for 119 yards Sunday. Why didn’t the Ravens pound the Giants with him extra usually?
At least there are some choices on offense, however the identical can’t be stated concerning the protection, which is why three groups have been in a position to rally and beat the Ravens within the fourth quarter. They simply don’t have a dominant participant that may take over the sport.
So sure, the Ravens have to seek out extra residence run hitters within the draft, however they’ve by no means been large spenders in free company. If they had been, possibly exterior linebacker Von Miller can be in Baltimore as a substitute of Buffalo.
Would you give Lamar an enormous assured contract?
— Carl Wright
Preston: Nope, not on the present time. I’ve been very constant on how I might deal with Jackson. Unless he takes the Ravens deep into the playoffs this season, I’d put the franchise tag on him subsequent yr.
I’d deal with him identical to the Ravens handled Flacco till he received a Super Bowl in 2012. Once that occurred, the Ravens made him the highest-paid quarterback within the NFL. Despite the MVP honor and different accolades, Jackson has received just one playoff recreation throughout his 5 years in Baltimore.
Under no circumstances would I provide him a fully-guaranteed contract. I perceive why gamers need such a deal, however it is not sensible for the homeowners in a vicious and bodily sport like soccer.
This shall be an fascinating offseason for each the Ravens and Jackson.
Mike, what occurred to Charlie Kolar? I assumed he was speculated to be prepared by finish of September after the sports activities hernia.
— Mike Monheit
Preston: Kolar bought cleared to start follow Tuesday. Before then, Harbaugh hadn’t been requested about him since Oct. 3, despite the fact that the previous Iowa State rookie has been within the locker room and watching practices from the exercise room. There was no cause to hurry him again with 4 tight ends — Isaiah Likely, Josh Oliver, Andrews and Nick Boyle — at the moment on the roster
At 6 ft 6 and 260 kilos, that’s one other large physique the Ravens can placed on the nook or off sort out.
Do you suppose Lamar would profit from much less or extra offensive teaching?
— @KimberlyMoller2 on Twitter
Preston: At this level, I don’t suppose it can make a lot of a distinction. I guess the Ravens have instructed Jackson to not throw the ball again throughout the center late many occasions and to safe and tuck the ball when scrambling.
Either he doesn’t hear or doesn’t care. Maybe it’s each. Lamar Jackson is Lamar Jackson. He goes to scramble and improvise, whatever the system or the coaches. Again, he has made enhancements, however he’s only in run-pass choices or on operating performs.
That’s his fashion of play and the Ravens endorsed it 4 years in the past when he turned the starter over Flacco.
Now, they should stay with it and see the place it takes them.
Have a query for Mike Preston? Email sports [email protected] with “Ravens mailbag” within the topic line and it might be answered in The Baltimore Sun.