Steve Bisciotti: Lamar Jackson won’t be running 20 times a game

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With the trade of Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos this March, the Baltimore Ravens turned over the keys to their offense to Lamar Jackson full-time.

Jackson made eight total starts for Baltimore last season, including a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in January. The Ravens were 6-2 in games started by Jackson a year ago and the team is implementing a new offense in order to better suit Jackson’s skills.

However, owner Steve Bisciotti knows that a starting quarterback is a valuable asset and that value goes to waste when they can’t be on the field. In a call with season ticket holders on Wednesday night, Bisciotti made it clear they intend to make sure Jackson isn’t frequently putting himself at risk by running too often.

I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that Lamar is not going to be running 20 times a game,” Bisciotti said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “That’s not what this offense is about.”

In Jackson’s seven regular season starts last year, he averaged 17 carries a game. In his first start against Cincinnati, Jackson carried the ball 26 times. Against Cleveland in Week 16, Jackson carried 20 times. Since the merger in 1970, there has been only three games where a quarterback has carried at least 20 times in a game. Jackson owns two of those with Tim Tebow carrying 22 times for the Denver Broncos in a start in 2011, per Pro Football Reference.

With Jackson’s slight frame, that kind of workload puts his ability to stay healthy in question. That workload may have been necessary to get the Ravens to the playoffs in 2018, but now the team can more adequately tailor their attack to suit Jackson’s passing strengths and limit his exposure to injury.

“Everything falls to Lamar,” Bisciotti said. “We believe in him. We believe he’s going to be great. He desires to be great. We will continue to build the team around his strengths and he’ll continue to work on his weaknesses.”