After years of struggle and inconsistency, the Baltimore Ravens pretty much swapped out their old group of wide receivers for a virtually completely new one, signing three players in free agency whom they expect to make up the top of their depth chart in addition to drafting two more in the middle rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
While the hope is that these new players will offer better results, it also restarts the process of building chemistry between passer and catcher, so with that in mind, the Ravens’ quarterback intends to spend some extra time with a couple of his wide receivers in the weeks leading up to training camp while the team is off.
Oh, wait, you didn’t think I was talking about Joe Flacco, did you?
While Flacco actually does plan on gathering some of his targets together for a practice session, which is not the norm for him, I am actually talking about Baltimore’s rookie first-round quarterback, Lamar Jackson, whom they selected with the 32nd-overall pick.
One of the receivers the Ravens signed, Willie Snead, told the Baltimore Sun that he and Jackson, as well as wide receiver John Brown, all live in the same neighborhood, so they plan to spend some time together during the break in order to work on their rapport.
“I’m lucky to live down the street from Lamar. To be able to get that extra time in, you know, that’s going to help huge”, he told the paper. “Just staying in the playbook, knowing the receivers and the nuances of what the coordinators want from Lamar, that’s gonna be huge”.
Snead was signed as a restricted free agent from the New Orleans Saints with the intention of him becoming their slot weapon, while Brown, an unrestricted free agent from the Arizona Cardinals, would man one of the two outside positions. Former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree is projected to be their number one target.
“We’re going to try” to get together”, Jackson said during minicamp about the potential practice session on their own time with some of his targets. “We’re definitely going to try”. He added, “we’ve got to have chemistry. That can’t just happen”.
While the Ravens don’t have immediate plans for Jackson to be their full-time starting quarterback, they have been very open about the fact that they are working on ways to get him on the field as soon as possible, even at the same time as Flacco, including potentially playing other positions, but also having the opportunity to throw the ball.