Even though they are frequently referenced as one of the top teams in the NFL right now, and among those most likely to win the Super Bowl, there has been a lot of discussion about the Baltimore Ravens this offseason in terms of their ability to improve the passing game, which many believe is the ingredient that is holding them back.
Media members questioned head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta at every available opportunity about what they intend to do to address the passing game, particularly the wide receiver position. While DeCosta claimed to be insulted by the suggestion that they need help, they did sign a starter in free agency, and then drafted two more, including a first-round pick.
Marquise Brown has been the Ravens’ top wide receiver for the past two years since he himself was drafted in the first round. He’s been subject to a lot of the talk, regarding whether or not he could be the number one, but that hasn’t been his focus.
“Me personally, I let the outside be the outside, and they talk”, he told reporters last week during OTAs. “We’re the Ravens. If it’s the scheme, if it’s the players, that’s on us. We’re going to get it right, and that’s why we’re out here right now – is to get it right. So, whatever it is, we’re going to address it, and we’re going to get it right”.
Baltimore signed Sammy Watkins in free agency after pursuing JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton, perhaps among others, with the idea of putting him in the starting lineup. In the draft, they added Rashod Bateman in the first round, and then Tylan Wallace in round four. They still have Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche from the past two draft classes as well. Now that it’s a crowded room, he knows he has to keep ahead.
“It’s just growing and learning – that everybody who works real jobs, 9 to 5, that’s just how we’ve got to treat football, and that’s what I’ve been doing”, he said. “Every day, 24/7, it’s football in some way. I do whatever I can do to make sure I’m available for my teammates and that I’m playing my best game. So, I continued doing that since last year, and I feel good out there, I’m moving around really good. So, I’m excited”.
Brown recorded 58 catches during his second season in 2020, going for 769 yards with eight touchdowns. He has caught 104 passes for 1353 yards and 15 touchdowns over the course of his two-year career, or roughly what his cousin, Antonio Brown, did in one season in 2018. He also has 18 receptions in three playoff games for 322 yards, albeit without a score.