Lamar Jackson: We’re just trying to be more consistent with deep passes this year

Sport

The Ravens have made a concerted effort to improve their pass game this offseason, signing receiver Sammy Watkins and drafting receiver Rashod Bateman in the first round.

After an offseason program of getting acclimated, the reviews have been positive for the team’s passing attack. But quarterback Lamar Jackson appeared to take issue with the implication that the Ravens were entirely limited in deep passes last year.

“People are always saying we throw short, intermediate routes and stuff like that — little 5-yard, 10-yard routes,” Jackson said, via Ryan Mink of the team’s website. “But we had some chances last year. We hit some of them, but we’re just trying to be more consistent this year. That’s where the strides happen. It starts in practice, and hopefully it transitions to the game. We’ve just got to keep working on it.”

As Mink pointed out, Jackson completed 34 percent of his passes that traveled at least 20 air yards in 2019 and 34.8 percent in 2020, ranking him No. 21 over the last two years.

But Baltimore was still dead last in passing yards and passing attempts last season. That’s why the pass game has been such a big emphasis for 2021 in the first place.

The Ravens were still seventh in points scored last season with what was easily the league’s best rushing offense. Jackson also said last week that it’s “go time” and there’s no time for he and his teammates to rest on their laurels before the season begins. If Baltimore’s passing attack significantly improves, the club will be a strong challenger in the AFC.