Ravens, Jackson get crash course in Roman's new-look offense

Wed Jun 12 2:08pm ET
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson throws a pass at the team's NFL football training facility in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, center, shakes hands with Marquise Brown after workouts at the team's NFL football training facility in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman speaks to reporters after workouts at the team's NFL football training facility in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, left, talks with wide receiver Willie Snead IV at the team's NFL football training facility in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (AP Photo/Gail Burton)


OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) The Baltimore Ravens are receiving a crash course this week from first-year offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who's rewritten the playbook to accommodate the peculiar talent of quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Roman hopes the lessons learned during the team's mandatory three-game minicamp will enable the offense to perform comfortably and efficiently at training camp next month.

''Generally, the guys have done just a really good job of picking this up quick,'' Roman said Wednesday. ''We've got to keep grinding, keep trying to mine for gold as far as technique and being precise.''

The process began in January, soon after Roman was promoted from assistant head coach/tight end coach to replace fired offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Coach John Harbaugh made the switch in part because Roman put together a very effective offense for quarterback Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco during the 2012 season.

Jackson, like Kaepernick, has the footspeed and elusiveness to make things happen even when he's not throwing the ball. After taking over for Joe Flacco as a rookie last season, Jackson rushed for 556 yards in a run-heavy offense, propelling Baltimore to a 6-1 finish and a berth in the playoffs as AFC North champions.

Soon after the Ravens lost to the Chargers in the opening round, Roman ripped up the playbook and started anew.

''We had to go back and look at everything from the ground up,'' Roman said. ''We looked at where we are and the vision we have for ourselves. We really kind of started from square one - how we call everything, the terminology we use, and how can we best utilize Lamar and the entire offense's abilities?''

A playbook designed for a drop-back passer like Flacco just wasn't going to work for Jackson, who's quick out of the pocket and almost perfect for the run-pass option. Although Roman began a complete overhaul after the postseason, the seeds of change began almost as soon as Jackson got his first start in November.

So it's not as if the Ravens are being asked to learn a new language.

''It's kind of a revamped version of what we did last year,'' left tackle Ronnie Stanley said. ''It's been kind of an easier transition, because we're kind of going off how we ended last year.''

Jackson and backup quarterback Robert Griffin III were both victimized by interceptions during Wednesday's practice, but the results are insignificant at this juncture. Everyone's wearing shorts, no one has pads, so it's pretty obvious that the offense is going to pass.

''When we move into training camp, there will be more emphasis on the running game,'' Roman said.

What matters this week is that the offense moves closer to absorbing the new playbook.

''You can't work the whole offense in three days, but we want to look like we know what we're doing,'' Harbaugh said. ''It's a new offense with, really, a new cast of characters - including Lamar, because it's new for him, too.''

So, what can Ravens fans expect from the new-look offense?

''You'll see some new stuff, some new stuff that looks like old stuff,'' Roman said.

Almost all of it, however, will happen in up-tempo fashion.

''We're looking for quicker communication, the ability to play quicker at the line of scrimmage,'' Roman said. ''We can play slow, but we wanted to be able to really delve in to making things as streamlined as we could.''

Player Notes
Michael Roberts Jun 14 2:53am ET

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Andre Roberts Jun 13 11:53pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Andre Roberts may see work in the passing game as the No. 5 receiver in addition to playing on special teams, according to Jay Skurski of The Buffalo News.

Matt Barkley Jun 13 10:53pm ET

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Cameron Meredith Jun 13 10:33pm ET

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Geronimo Allison Jun 13 10:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison is 'likely slated as the slot man' in three-receiver sets, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Fantasy Spin: Allison had a productive start to last season before suffering an injury, and while Marquez Valdes-Scantling may have the inside track on the No. 2 receiver job, the Green Bay passing attack could support three viable fantasy options. Consider Allison a WR4 with upside.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jun 13 10:03pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been lining up across from WR Davante Adams in all packages during minicamp.

Fantasy Spin: It sounds like Valdes-Scantling has the inside track to the No. 2 receiver job. It remains to be seen if he will take the role and run with it, but the upside that comes with being one of Aaron Rodgers' top targets makes him a WR4 candidate.

Robby Anderson Jun 13 9:23pm ET

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson (undisclosed) did not practice Thursday, June 13, because of an undisclosed injury.

Fantasy Spin: The nature of Anderson's injury remains unclear, but unless it lingers into training camp, fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned. Anderson started to connect with Sam Darnold on some big plays late last season, and he's a WR3 candidate in 2019 as the top option in the passing attack.

Leonard Fournette Jun 13 9:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette will be a big part of the passing game with QB Nick Foles in 2019, according to ESPN's Michael DiRocco.

Fantasy Spin: Fournette has just 48 career catches for 487 yards and two touchdowns over the first two seasons of his career. Foles most memorably hooked up with RB Corey Clement four times for 100 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LII. Fournette could be a huge steal if he continues to go in the third round of PPR drafts.

Marlon Mack Jun 13 8:23pm ET

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack is being viewed by head coach Frank Reich as the team's workhorse in the backfield, according to Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star.

Fantasy Spin: Mack rushed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns last season while adding 103 yards and one touchdown as a receiver. Nyheim Hines should handle the majority of third-down duties in 2019, but Mack could still return plenty of value as a high-end RB2.

LeSean McCoy Jun 13 7:43pm ET

Buffalo Bills RB LeSean McCoy expects to maintain a large role in the offense in his age-31 season in 2019. 'I'm a type of guy, I thrive off of having a big name. So when guys come to my team, they're curious to see, 'How is LeSean McCoy? Is he still a good player?' I mean, I'm a dominant player. I think that speaks for itself. But I'll be in the same role as last year. And I look forward to putting some numbers up and bouncing back from that last season,' McCoy said Tuesday, June 12.

Fantasy Spin: McCoy totaled just 752 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns last season. Both numbers were career worsts as he played in 14 games but made just 13 starts. He remains No. 1 on the Bills' depth chart, but he'll be competing against veteran RB Frank Gore and third-round rookie Devin Singletary. He's fallen into RB4 territory but could prove to be a steal at a mid-round price.

Darius Slay Jun 13 6:43pm ET

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Dallas Goedert Jun 13 6:33pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert has looked ready to make a second-year leap into stardom in 2019, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Fantasy Spin: Goedert, who caught 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie after being chosen 49th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, will remain behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles' depth chart as a sophomore. He could prove to be a viable TE2 in deeper leagues and would be an instant must-add should Ertz miss any time.

David Moore Jun 13 6:23pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR David Moore has made a huge leap this offseason in his knowledge of the position and in his ability to play multiple spots, according to head coach Pete Carroll on Thursday, June 13.

Fantasy Spin: Moore caught just 26 of 53 targets last season but turned those into 445 yards and five touchdowns. He projects behind Tyler Lockett and rookie D.K. Metcalf on the depth chart, but he's worth a late-round pick as a WR5 as the Seahawks begin life without Doug Baldwin.

Theo Riddick Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick is not guaranteed to make the team out of training camp, in the opinion of the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett.

Kerryon Johnson Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson finished with 32 catches in 10 games as a rookie in 2018, and the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett could see him doubling that production in 2019 if the team decides they don't need to take Johnson off the field on third down.

Demarcus Lawrence Jun 13 5:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys CB Byron Jones (hip) and DE DeMarcus Lawrence (shoulder) are expected to begin training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

DeSean Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson has reportedly built a strong connection and sense of timing with QB Carson Wentz throughout the spring, according to Mike Kaye of NJ.com.

Lamar Jackson Jun 13 5:43pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson indicated he may work with noted 'quarterback guru' Tom House over the summer and confirmed he will throw to his teammates in either Baltimore or somewhere in Florida in July.

Travin Dural Jun 13 4:53pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Travin Dural was waived Thursday, June 13.

C.J. Prosise Jun 13 4:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (hamstring) reportedly left practice with a tight hamstring Thursday, June 13, according to head coach Pete Carroll.