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Lamar Jackson’s Comments on Defenses Calling Plays ‘Nothing New,’ Ravens OC Says

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) in action during in an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

AJ Mast/Associated Press

A day after Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson expressed his frustration about teams calling out his offense’s plays before they’re carried out, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said it’s not a new development in the game.

“Calling out plays on the defense is nothing new,” Roman said Thursday, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “They’re going to be right sometimes [and] they’re going to be wrong sometimes. I think we know that. But that’s definitely an element of the game. It always has been and probably always will be.”

The Ravens are 6-2 through eight games for the second consecutive season, and their regular-season streak of scoring at least 20 points dates back to Week 11 of 2018. Still, their production has dropped compared to their 2019 season that ended with a divisional-round loss to the Titans.

They’ve averaged just 347 yards per game, 10th-worst in the league, and have the ninth-fewest total yards at 2,776. While it’s only the season’s halfway point, the Ravens have quite a bit of leg work to do to catch up to last year‘s second-best yards per game (407.6) and total yardage (6,521) marks. 

When the Ravens lost to the undefeated Steelers in Week 8, Pittsburgh linebacker Alex Highsmith said he knew what Jackson was thinking when he intercepted him in the third quarter. 

“I knew when that play started they were coming back to that because they ran the same play on the first half, and I didn’t drop deep enough,” Highsmith said, per Hensley. “So I learned from that play and just dropped deeper … the ball just fell into my hands.”

The team returned all but one offensive starter to begin the year—Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda retired—under Roman, who is in his second season as the team’s coordinator after serving in various roles with the franchise since 2017. Yet a few key injuries to the offensive line, notably Ronnie Stanley (ankle), have hampered the unit’s effectiveness.

“We’re very aware of our tendencies,” Roman said. “We’re aware that there are some now, and that’s where it gets interesting. When you’re good at something and you can keep pressing that button, then you have the opportunity to flip the script at some point moving forward.”

Jackson and the Ravens will have a chance to do just that Sunday night against the New England Patriots.

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