What Lamar Jackson is missing by not attending the Ravens’ OTAs – Baltimore Ravens Blog

OWINGS MILLS Md. — The Baltimore Ravens Have downplayed quarterback Lamar Jackson’s absence from the start of organized training activities.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Jackson isn’t the team’s first high-profile player to miss voluntary workouts, and team president Sashi Brown said the Ravens are “not going to make a big deal out of this.”

“Voluntary does mean voluntary,” Brown told WBAL Radio in Baltimore. “Lamar’s been out working this offseason [away from the facility] … so no, I don’t think [there’s] any reason for alarm.”

The Ravens didn’t provide a reason for Jackson’s absence, saying it was up to the former NFL MVP to explain. Jackson hasn’t spoken to reporters since Jan. 10, but did tweet Tuesday: “Can’t wait to get back.”

Jackson’s absence can’t help the Ravens, who are taking their first steps in trying to rebound from their first last-place finish in the AFC North since 2007. Jackson is coming off an awful season, in which he threw 13 interceptions for the first time in his career and missed 17 regular practice due to illness and injury.

Jackson is missing out on OTAs because he isn't attending:

Helping one of the NFL’s youngest wide receiver groups: The Ravens don’t have a wide receiver with more than 10 career starts after trading Marquise “Hollywood” Brown And not resigning Sammy Watkins. Rashod Bateman Considered the No. In his second season, he is considered the No. Devin DuvernayJames Proche Tylan Wallace The two are fighting for the top spots on our depth chart. Jackson has participated in private throwing sessions by Bateman and Proche but his last complete practice with the team took place Dec. 10. Improving Jackson’s rapport with these relatively inexperienced targets is one of the top priorities. Jackson was 19th last year with a 74.5 Total QBR throwing to wide receivers.

Harmonizing with his center Ravens' quarterback-center exchange is even more important than any other NFL team because Baltimore was only 5.1% under center last season. The Ravens’ coaches and players have spoken about how the timing and placement of the snaps out of the pistol formation are critical to the rhythm of the offense, especially on the run-pass option plays. It’s going to take time to get this type of precision down with rookie center Tyler LinderbaumThe No. 25 overall pick in this year’s draft. Linderbaum said he’s comfortable with shotgun snaps but acknowledged they weren’t routine at Iowa. This will be an important point because Baltimore had 13 missed snaps in five years. It was the fourth-most league record.

A foundation to support an offense that made too many errors last season Pre-snap penalties were Baltimore's worst enemy. The Ravens were called for delay of game eight times, which were the most in Harbaugh’s 14 seasons. This is in addition to the 18 false-start penalties and the many times when players didn’t line up correctly. The Ravens won’t ramp up to full-team reps and game situations until minicamp and training camp, but this is the time of the year when coaches and players say they establish the groundwork for the offense.

Team bonding Jackson spoke about team chemistry when he last spoke. He said in January the Ravens “had everything else but we didn’t have that team bonding coming out of the building. … I feel like we need to bond more, and it will take a toll over the season.” That’s why it was surprising that Jackson was not present when the Ravens got together as a team for the first time this offseason. Jackson tweeted he can’t wait to get back with purple heart and rocket emojis, but it’s not clear when he will return.

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