When the Baltimore Ravens traded back into the first round to select QB Lamar Jackson I was shocked, literally speechless. After trading back down twice previously in the round it did not seem like the Ravens were interested in taking a QB as they passed on Lamar Jackson twice. However, Ozzie Newsome showed his Zen like wisdom and patiently watched as the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins passed on him and then traded next years second rounder to nab Jackson.
I am going to get into what this pick means for Joe Flacco later, but now I am going to show that this move was calculated and possibly in the works for years. Let’s look at the time line.
In January of 2015 the Ravens hired Marty Mornhinweg to be their QB coach for Flacco. When Marty came over he was known as a west coast style teacher who had worked with John Harbaugh back in Philadelphia. He is also known for sending Quarterback Donovan McNabb to the Pro Bowl. Halfway through the 2016 season they would promote him to offensive coordinator.
In 2017 the Ravens hired Greg Roman to be their tight ends coach. Then this past year they promoted him to senior offensive coordinator. Greg Roman is best known for coaching Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor for their best years.
This past offseason they hired James Urban to be their Quarterback coach. Urban was the QB coach for Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick during their pro bowl years. He has also worked with Mornhinweg during his time in Philly.
Lastly during this past offseason, they signed quarterback Robert Griffin III to a minimum contract. When he first signed I thought that the Ravens were just trying to distance themselves from Kaepernick, but now, I think this is the first year that the Ravens will keep three Quarterbacks on the roster.
Now let’s be real, the Ravens were not thinking of drafting Jackson back in 2015 but I will tell you that there were a few QBs in this year’s draft who will play in the West Coast System. Also, Eric DeCosta has been gaining more control for the past few years.
It is very possible all of these coaches and mentors will be gone by the time Lamar Jackson sees the field. It is also possible that these hiring’s were not done with thinking into the future. I just believe that if the Ravens are going to teach Jackson to play well in the NFL, these are the right guys to do it.