Since Lamar Jackson became the Baltimore Ravens starter in 2019, only the Tennessee Titans have run the ball more than the Ravens, and that’s only because of standout running-back Derrick Henry. The Ravens offense is traditionally built on defense and physical running game.
While that formula has been successful, with the Ravens making the playoffs three of Jackson’s four seasons, the lack of a vertical passing attack has been the team’s kryptonite come playoff time. So much to the point that speedster Marquise “Hollywood” Brown requested a trade this offseason. The Ravens obliged and traded the disgruntled Brown to the Cardinals on draft night.
During an interview with “I Am Athlete,” Brown discussed his reason for wanting to be traded.
“I asked them for a trade after the season. It was just my happiness.”
In an interview with Tyler Dunne of @GoLongTD, former Ravens wideout Willie Snead, recently talked about the Ravens’ offense system being a deterrent for many free agent pass-catchers.
“Yeah it’s tough. When we’re comparing Greg Roman to a Sean Payton offense or Greg Roman to a Jon Gruden offense, it’s like night and day. There’s a lot more creativity in the passing game. If the Ravens had more creativity in the passing game and they put more emphasis on it during the season, I think more receivers would be open to coming. Because Lamar is great player to play with. He’s all about the team. He’s fun. He brings energy every single day. You want to play with quarterbacks like that. But the system pushed guys away.”
“That’s why the Ravens are always drafting two receivers every year,” Snead continued. “They keep them young. They keep them locked in on contracts, but for an older veteran guy coming in, he might get one shot to do this. I don’t know if the Ravens are going to be that one shot for them unless you’re a tight end or a big bodied receiver that can win those 50/50 balls.”
Hollywood Brown Wanted Out Because Of System
Maybe Hollywood Brown wasn’t lying when he said the offense doesn’t fit what he does best, which is get deep. He’s a smaller receiver who isn’t going to win those contested passes against bigger defenders.
He mentions it wasn’t about Lamar, but the system, and he wanted to play in a more pass-friendly offense.
Brown posted 91 receptions for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns in 2022 and is now reunited with his college QB, Kyler Murray. The two starred together at Oklahoma.
Ravens Have Bigger Issue At Hand
Offensive system aside, the Ravens have something a little more pressing at hand. The guy who makes the system go and throws fear into defenses weekly doesn’t have a contract extension and is slated to play the season on his fifth-year option.
Jackson has skipped OTA’s, but is expected to report to mandatory minicamp this week. While he’ll show his face at Ravens camp, there’s no way he’s taking the field without a contract extension.
In a recent presser Ravens coach John Harbaugh also mentioned that he expected Jackson to be at camp, but this doesn’t guarantee anything.
Maybe then they can sort out a new deal and get the 2019 NFL MVP locked-up soon. The delay doesn’t benefit Jackson, the team or the franchise’s championship aspirations.