Mays: Ravens should be 'excited' with new offense
Robert Mays joins Brother From Another to break down how the Baltimore Ravens offense can go to another level next season with Lamar Jackson under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.
- All right, that was Lamar Jackson. It was the top story. Lamar Jackson gave a press conference today. He is officially a Baltimore Raven for the next five years. Pretty good contract, Robert Mays. So now that it's done, your takeaway-- your number-one takeaway from Lamar Jackson remarrying the Ravens is what?
ROBERT MAYS: I'm excited. I mean, that's my first takeaways is that I can't wait to see it because they hired Todd Monken in this offseason. And when you look at the offenses that he's run at Georgia and then even back in the NFL, those Bucs teams with Mike Evans, and DeSean Jackson, and Ryan Fitzpatrick were just endlessly entertaining.
So the idea of this Ravens offense kind of stepping into the 21st century and being a more modern passing game, I've wanted to see that. And now you combine Lamar Jackson with that, Odell Beckham with that. They draft Zay Flowers. So just the idea of what the Ravens offense can be, that's the first place my mind went.
But the second place is probably, this always made the most sense. It always made the most sense for these two sides to come to an agreement, a compromise of some sort because I think it was in the interests of both parties to make something like this happen. And as a football fan, and as one that wants to see the most fun product possible on the field, selfishly, I am happy that that's where they landed.
- It's funny that you mentioned the Ryan Fitzpatrick time. Because that was the time when he was letting-- DeSean Jackson was letting him wear his chain and his glasses postgame. So that was a real fun time for Tampa. And I agree with you. It's funny that you mention a modern offense. In Baltimore, we made those jokes already. So trust me. I've heard more than enough in terms of that.
But you're right. What Greg Roman did in 2019 and 2020 was fine. But it was time to evolve. And, to me, they were two years behind in letting him go. So this is the perfect situation now, where you've got some weapons on the outside. You got a Zay Flowers that you could potentially use outside as well as a slot. You still got Mark Andrews. And now you have an offensive coordinator who will allow you to run a pro-style-like offense that Lamar has already been familiar with.
- What do you think, Robert?
ROBERT MAYS: I totally agree. Yeah, I totally agree. I think that with guys who are runners, and guys that have that in their bag, I think the conversation recently has been that that raises your floor early on in your career. You have a usefulness because you can make something happen even if even as you're maturing as a passer.
And that did raise the floor of what the Ravens offense could be early on. And I think it made sense as kind of the early stages for what a Lamar-led team looked like. But eventually you need to raise the ceiling. Eventually you need to be able to take it to a different place and kind of stay one, two steps ahead of the way that teams are defending you. And I think it was time.
So when you think about some of the flashes Lamar has shown as a passer, and you envision that in a more modern setting with a more modern set of weapons, and a coordinator that-- it isn't theory. He's shown that he can do it with these sort of players in the past. I think it's hard not to look forward to what it could look like.
- Mike, if I can interject here--
- So Robert-- Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
- Mike, if I could interject here because I want to know your opinion too on this. How do both of you guys view, now that Lamar is signed to this five-year extension, how do you view this playing in the AFC in general? It's already a very thick conference. Clearly, Kansas City are the frontrunners. But how do you see this playing along? And, Mike, I'm curious to know your thoughts as well.
- Robert, go first, Robert. Mine is going to be quick.
- I think they're right in the mix. I absolutely do. If you imagine the best-case scenario for what the offense can look like, I think it has a chance to be really good. You know, the offensive line is still full of good pieces. They did a good job rebuilding that group, like just very Ravens stuff, like re-signing-- signing Kevin Zeitler after he gets cut, and, you know, doing quiet stuff like that to kind of build that group.
And then on defense, they, again, Ravens stuff. You sign Rock Ya-Sin yesterday so it doesn't affect the comp-pick formula. You still have depth at those spots. They could always use a more traditional edge rusher. You know, I think that's the one spot where they've struggled to find somebody in piecing it together with the Justin Houstons of the world.
But I thought Mike Macdonald did such a good job last year. And I thought they really hit their stride in the second half of the season. So if you project some of that success moving forward, I absolutely think that they could be a major player, even when you consider how loaded the AFC is.
- I love the way you said Ravens stuff. And I love Lamar Jackson. But Ravens stuff is what I'm concerned about because I'm wondering if we're at a point in football, if the Ravens' offensive approach with their offensive personnel is enough to keep up with the big dogs. I still see some questions.
Odell Beckham Jr., big name, but a big question too. Nelson Agholor, y'all, come on. Hey, come on. Come on, Agholor is a question. Bateman is still a question, Zay Flowers, a question. Now, these might be-- they may have great answers. But right now, it doesn't have the certainty of Josh Allen's got certainty in Buffalo. Joe Burrow's got certainty in Cincinnati. Patrick Mahomes got certainty and Kansas City. And they got still too many questions for me in Baltimore. As a matter of fact, the Jets-- the Jets have more certainty with their offense than the Ravens do.
- Oh, come on.
- So that's all I'm-- they do. Look, look, they've got-- they added a quarterback. Their number one-- Reeta, you'd take their number one over yours?
- Oh, come on.
- You'd take Garrett Wilson over any-- you wouldn't take Garrett Wilson over anybody you got? I'm not talking about the tight end, receivers, receivers.
- You'd take Garrett Wilson over any of those receivers?
- I hear you. I get it. I understand why we like Garrett Wilson so much. I don't know if I'd-- I don't know if Rashod Bateman is going to be that guy. He can't stay healthy. So, to me, that's an unfair question. I hear you. The quarterback situation is solidified in Green Bay-- I mean, in New York. But come on. We still don't know how this is going to play out. Come on.
- All right, maybe New York is a stretch. New York may be a stretch. But the other ones, solid.
- Michael, Nelson Agholor may be a question. But Nelson Agholor would have been the best receiver on the Ravens for long stretches of the last two years.
- I think it's about--
- That's a fact.
- It's about the upgrades that you're making. The idea that Devin DuVernay was number two, and they had to sign Demarcus Robinson off the street. He was a real player for them last year. If you look at the depth chart, even if it's simply an idea now, compared to what the depth chart looked like over the last two years, it's unbelievable.
I mean, the upgrade and how many spots they've improved, it slots everyone down back, I think, into their rightful place on a wide receiver depth chart. It looks like an NFL wide receiver room for the first time in a while. And I think even that, even if we still have to see what it looks like in practice, is an encouraging step in the right direction.