The Baltimore Ravens have hired five offensive coordinators since firing Cam Cameron in the middle of the 2012 season. They are now looking for their sixth man to run their offense since parting with Greg Roman earlier this offseason. He took over in 2019, quarterback Lamar Jackson’s first full season as starter, but are looking for a fresh start.
We don’t know who that will be, and a number of candidates have surfaced, including Byron Leftwich and Eric Bieniemy. But we do know what at least one prominent player thinks should be a priority. And he should know, because he catches the most passes.
All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews recently told Chris Simms on Pro Football Talk Live that their next offensive coordinator needs to alter the perception about their passing game. “This is such a pass-happy league”, he said. “If you’re not doing it, you’re gonna fall behind”.
He added that they need to change the narrative that wide receivers can’t thrive in Baltimore’s offense. There’s work to do in that regard. They have ranked in the bottom six in passing yards in three of the past four seasons.
They rank ahead of only the Chicago Bears in terms of net passing yards over the past four seasons. Granted, they also rank 31st in pass attempts, and actually rank 13th in passing touchdowns. They rank in the top 10 in touchdown percentage—but also in interception percentage.
It doesn’t help that Jackson has missed 10 games over the past two seasons. He has thrown for 11,008 yards over his four full years as a starter with 95 touchdowns to 35 interceptions. Obviously, he is a primary component of the running game, but they also need to prove they can throw more.
And as Andrews implied, you need guys to buy in. Wide receivers don’t want to come into an offense to block for the running game. They want to catch passes and score. It’s what they’ve dreamed of doing since they were children on the playground.
They had started throwing the ball more over the past two seasons, but Jackson’s injuries have gotten in the way. And in spite of his Pro Bowl status, Tyler Huntley is just not on the same level. But they’ve also never had a consistently solid group of targets around him.
Andrews, drafted in the same year as Jackson, has been the mainstay. They had Marquise Brown before Baltimore traded him. They are hoping that Rashod Bateman is their next—possibly first—great wide receiver, but he must be healthy.
And it’s up to the team’s next offensive coordinator to figure that all out. It’s wonderful to have a great running game, but if you don’t have a passing game that can do whatever it needs to do whenever it needs doing, you’re going to be wanting.
And the Ravens are 1-3 in the postseason under Roman. Indeed, the franchise has just one win since 2014, and two since they won the Super Bowl in 2012. You know, the year they fired Cam Cameron in-season.