Ravens coordinator thinks danger of Lamar Jackson running “a little overrated”

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The Ravens are clearly building a new offense around quarterback Lamar Jackson, and his ability to run.

And coordinator Greg Roman isn’t going to call particular plays with fear of Jackson being injured.

Via Jonas Shaffer of the Baltimore Sun, Roman said he’s not going to worry about Jackson getting hurt while on the move.

“I think it’s a little overrated, the whole danger thing,” Roman said. “Why? Because, and this is empirical data here, over the years, you kind of realize that when a quarterback decides to run, he’s in control. So now [if] he wants to slide, he can slide. If he wants to dive, he can dive, get out of bounds, all of those different things. He can get down, declare himself down.

“A lot of the time, the situations that [have] more danger are when he doesn’t see what’s coming — my eyes are downfield, I’m standing stationary from the pocket, somebody is hitting me from the blind side. My experience, and I kind of learned this, is that when the quarterback takes the ball and starts to run, there’s not a lot of danger involved in that relative to other situations.”

Of course, Roman has seen first-hand what can happen when the quarterback is outside the pocket, stemming from his days with the 49ers when Alex Smith‘s concussion opened the door to Colin Kaepernick and a Super Bowl run. Or in Buffalo when Tyrod Taylor was horse-collared while scrambling.

And Roman’s point that quarterbacks can be injured in the pocket is valid, as Aaron Rodgers would attest. But it’s still worth considering the volume of opportunities for Jackson, since so much of the offense is literally going to run through him.

“Last year, for example, was a learning curve for him on how he would handle a [running] situation,” Roman said. “ ‘Do we really want to take those hits?’ ‘Why would I cut back against the grain when I could take it out the front door into space?’ All of those things started last year. . . . I think you have to be very judicious on realizing the big picture.”

At the same time, keeping Jackson in the pocket takes away the thing that makes him dangerous to opponents, and that’s not anything Roman is interested in either.

18 responses to “Ravens coordinator thinks danger of Lamar Jackson running “a little overrated”

  1. You mean Kap 2.0? He will just be forced to throw by the 5th game and by game 16 it will be excruciating to watch the 5-10 Ravens rebuilding and the fans will be crying because Flacco has 4000 yds & 35 TD’s with the donkey’s.

  2. There are no old running QB’s. At some point he needs to become QB with mobility, not a running QB. It might seem like semantics but the difference between the two is huge. The Ravens are doing a disservice to his longevity by encouraging him to run first.

  3. What are the Ravens going to say?
    ” We know that the injury rate in the NFL is 100% , he will eventually get injured, but we drafted him #1 so we’re running with Lamarr”

  4. Ask RGIII and Michael Vick what their thoughts are on this. Vick might still be playing if he could have stayed healthy, and without a doubt injuries have all-but ruined the career of RGIII. Lamar Jackson all-too-often lowers his shoulder into tacklers, rather than slide… and that’s a prescription for injury.

  5. Jackson averaged 17 carries per game as a starter. It’s not sustainable, and he needs to develop more as a passer if he’s going to be a franchise QB.

  6. Sounds like he’s trying to convince himself. It’s not so much that the chance of injury is greater with a running QB, it’s that the magnitude of injuries a running QB gets is usually greater than the things that happen to pocket QBs.

    Also, and this is way too rarely mentioned, the current NFL game is structured in a way for pocket QBs to succeed. It’s just the way the game is. It isn’t designed for QBs who can’t read a defense and make all the throws from the pocket.

  7. Translation: he isn’t a thinking-timing passer, but a reactive run-or-chuck type who simply has to use his athleticism. You have to play to his strengths. But (as I’ve pointed out before), his 6-1 stretch was against 7 of the 8 worst Ds last year. Good Ds will close down his run and force him to throw – at which he averages 75yds/gm and a 84.1 pass rating. You can fork the Ravens now.

  8. In fairness to Roman’s take, the two times Jackson got banged up last year: one was on a pass dropback in the pocket vs the Chiefs and the other was when he was kicked in the head by one of his o-linemen, neither was the result of a defender hitting him on a run. Not saying it won’t happen eventually though.

  9. Running QBs are in control of the hits they take? Sure…until they aren’t, because a super-athletic NFL defender closes in an delivers a hit the QB isn’t ready for. And if the QB is slight, the risk is that much higher. Somewhere, RGIII is nodding…

  10. And Roman’s point that quarterbacks can be injured in the pocket is valid, as Aaron Rodgers would attest.

    Of all the quarterbacks who have been injured in the pocket, why pick Aaron Rodgers? He got hurt in the pocket last year, but it was a minor injury that kept him out of less than half a game. The year before he got injured while he was scrambling outside the pocket. Maybe you should have picked Joe Theismann.

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