The Baltimore Ravens find themselves in a position similar to that many others in the league are facing. While they feel that they might have one option at the quarterback position, their ultimate goal is to move on to the future, after they used a first-round draft pick on Lamar Jackson back in April.
Despite already having a Super Bowl-winning quarterback on hand in Joe Flacco, Jackson is the future, and to that end, the team has been giving him snaps where they can, a plan that has been in place pretty much since they drafted him.
That has meant putting him on the field at the same time as Flacco, which has happened about a dozen times so far for the Ravens over the course of the first two games. Jackson has played has played seven snaps from the slot position—and Flacco has played four.
Nothing particularly exciting has happened yet in that package, and one play even nearly ended in disaster when a reverse was snuffed out and was close to producing a fumble. Because of the lack of impact, there has been a mixture of emotions about whether or not it is benefitting the team.
The argument is that bringing Jackson in is damaging the rhythm and flow of the offense, and this certainly is not a new argument, as we’ve heard it about every other situation similar to this in which a team’s starting quarterback is asked to do anything other than throw the ball or hand it off.
But the Ravens are likely to continue using it, knowing that it does offer the potential for the sort of explosive play that has been lacking from the offense for some time now. That is assuming that Jackson is able to translate his skills as they were on display during his college career to the NFL.
Flacco himself even said when he was asked by reporters what he thought about the package plays that “they’ve had a positive effect”. It has only been two games, certainly not enough to come to any fair judgement about its efficacy, after all.
I would imagine that the Ravens will continue to use Jackson in the offense for at least two more games, which would mean that the Pittsburgh Steelers will get the opportunity to get a look at it firsthand. They have already had struggles with containing mobile quarterbacks the first two weeks of the season, so perhaps that offers them the proper opponent to help produce that big play they’ve been looking for.