It appears Baltimore could have some serious changes on the way offensively, according second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson, 22, set a single-season NFL record for quarterback rushing attempts last year, with 147. He reached that mark despite starting only seven games as a rookie (though he played in all 16).
Ravens coach John Harbaugh made headlines earlier this week by suggesting Jackson might run the ball more than 139 times in 2019, but Jackson countered that notion Thursday on “The Rich Eisen Show.”
“Absolutely. I put on weight,” Jackson said (via ESPN.com) when asked if he could replicate the last season’s rushing production. “But I don’t think I’ll be running as much as I did last year. There were a lot of (run-pass options) and a lot of sudden changes in last year’s game. This will be totally different.”
Jackson declined to go into detail about Baltimore’s new-and-improved offensive approach though.
“I can’t talk about it,” Jackson said. “Each and every day we’re looking better and better in what we’re doing, whether it’s RPO, running the ball with our backs, or the pass game, it’s all looking incredible right now. But you’re going to have to see when it’s game time. Practice is going to be practice; games are going to be games.”
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) August 1, 2019
Jackson has completed 99 of his 170 career NFL passing attempts for 1,201 yards and six touchdowns with three interceptions. It’s safe to say that the Ravens will try to even things out and monitor the volume of his rushes moving forward, as he was among the league leaders in fumbles (12) in 2018. He fumbled in nine games last season.
“I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that Lamar is not going to be running 20 times a game,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in May. “That’s not what this offense is about.”
Baltmiore traded Joe Flacco to the Broncos to make room for Jackson to shine and added Mark Ingram to the backfield this offseason. It also signed star safety Earl Thomas to a four-year deal to bolster its defense.
Jackson adding a new dimension to his game could help the Ravens win the AFC North for a second consecutive season and push them deeper into the playoffs. They were eliminated by the Chargers in the first round last postseason.