During his eight starts as a rookie, including playoffs, Lamar Jackson didn’t have a single game with 30 passing attempts. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback suggested that would emphatically change in 2019.
Asked by Adam Schein of Mad Dog Sports Radio on Monday what the ideal ratio of run-to-pass would be for the run-heavy Ravens, Jackson provided clearly his hopes for his pass attempts.
“Probably throwing, probably 30 passes a game,” Jackson said. “Running, I probably won’t have as many attempts as last year. We have a great backfield and we’re just going to take what the defense gives us and take advantage of it and just go from there.”
We should note here that Jackson doesn’t distinguish from pass attempts and dropbacks, which would include plays which are designed for him to pass but turn into scrambles for the NFL’s most dangerous running QB.
Averaging 30 passing attempts a game, while an uptick from his 23.4 in eight starts, wouldn’t put Jackson all that high compared to other starters. Of QBs that threw at least 200 passes in 2018, 28 averaged more than 30 attempts per game, led by Ben Roethlisberger‘s 42.2. Joe Flacco, before he was injured and benched in favor of Jackson last year, attempted 42.1 passes per tilt for Baltimore (2nd in NFL).
During training camp, Ravens coach John Harbaugh famously said “take the over” on Jackson rushing 139-plus times this season. While the QB will run plenty, Jackson believes he won’t take off from the pocket as much as he did last season.
“Absolutely, last year it was a lot of (when) thing break down, I just used my legs, not trying to force anything — not trying to force turnovers or anything like that,” Jackson told Schein. “I’ve been working on ball security this year. I had a lot of fumbles, fumbles that really shouldn’t have been fumbles, but it happened, but it’s going to be a dramatic change this year.”
If Jackson plans to make strides as a quarterback, he’ll have to learn to maneuver the pocket and keep passing as his primary objective as opposed to being a one-read-and-run signal-caller, like he was a lot last year. From hearing Jackson discuss it, that’s his plan heading into the start of the season.