With the Ravens hiring a new offensive coordinator this year, it probably shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone in Baltimore that the team would be installing a new offense this offseason, but apparently, no one told Lamar Jackson.
When Jackson showed up for the team's first round of offseason training activities (OTAs) last week, the Ravens quarterback literally had no idea that he was going to be spending his week implementing a new offense.
"Coming in, I didn't know we would have a totally different offense," Jackson admitted, via the Ravens' official website. "When I got here, coach was like, 'Yea, we have a totally new system. You're going to have go through this and that.' It's been getting to me a little bit."
Although the Ravens offense ranked ninth in the NFL in yards per game last season, the team still decided to dump offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg after Baltimore's 23-17 playoff loss to the Chargers. To replace Mornhinweg, the Ravens brought in Greg Roman, who basically decided to start over from scratch, which means Jackson had to learn on the fly last week, and apparently, it doesn't sound like he got off to a hot start.
"I'd say, my first day, I sucked. Second day, I did better. Today, it was all right but it could've been better," Jackson said, via ESPN.com. "I'm always trying to be perfect in practice."
Although Jackson's self-assessment is that he sucked, Ravens coach John Harbaugh doesn't feel the same way. After watching his starting quarterback go through three days of OTAs, Harbaugh was actually somewhat impressed at the way Jackson looked, especially considering everything the quarterback had to learn this week.
"He's looked good," Harbaugh said. "I think all the quarterbacks are doing a real good job. We've rebuilt the offense. There's been a lot of work on all the little things that go into it from cadence, from huddle, from terminology, just installing the offense. It's a process, so we're not exactly clicking on all cylinders yet, but I'm really happy with the progress and where we're going."
The good news for Jackson is that if anyone should be able to utilize his talents, it's Roman, who was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2012 when Colin Kaepernick helped lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl. The two quarterbacks have a somewhat similar skillset and if Roman's success with Kaepernick is any indication -- the 49ers quarterback went 25-14 with Roman as his offensive coordinator -- then the Ravens could have an explosive offense in 2019.
Although Jackson doesn't have the offense down yet, the good news for the quarterback is that he has plenty of time to learn it. Not only do the Ravens still have seven OTA sessions left to go this offseason (May 28, May 30-31, June 3-4, June 6-7), but they also have a mandatory minicamp (June 11-13) before kicking off training camp in late July.