As camps are opening, I think it’s looking more clear there won’t be a big statistical jump for Baltimore’s passing game. I don’t have much confidence in the quarterback, and I’m not a big fan of the coaching staff.

Lamar Jackson is insanely talented, but he doesn’t seem to make great decisions – especially off the field. Twice in the last year he’s been shelved by positive COVID tests, and the latest could shelve him for the first 10 days of practice. The belief is that Jackson is among the players who hasn’t been vaccinated.

And Jackson is perhaps the quarterback most likely to be shelved by an injury away from the facility. In this offseason, he’s needlessly put himself at risk at least twice, showing up on Twitter playing in touch football games on concrete and on a crowded beach (with Jackson at one point colliding with a jet ski). Earlier in his career, Jackson filmed himself driving 105 mph while not wearing a seatbelt.

Jackson has averaged only 161, 209 and 184 passing yards per game in his first three seasons (but with 67 TD passes in 37 starts).

The other factor here is offensive coordinator Greg Roman. He’s been great at putting together productive running games, but he’s been pretty lousy at constructing passing games that offer much. Roman has been a high-level offensive assistant for each of the last 10 years. All of his offenses have ranked in the bottom-10 in passing.

Of Roman’s 10 offenses, all but two have ranked in the top 4 in rushing, while all but two have ranked in the bottom 4 in passing. The 2017 Ravens ranked 11th in rushing and 23rd in passing; that’s the most balanced offense he’s been associated with (and Marty Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator for that team – Roman was a senior assistant). The 2011 San Francisco team ranked 8th in rushing; that was Roman’s only other offense that ranked lower than 4th in rushing. The 2012 49ers ranked 24th in passing (his only other offense ranking higher than 29th throwing).

Roman’s 10 offenses have averaged 154 rushing yards per game, with 19 TD runs per season. Those teams have averaged only 207 passing yards per game, with 22 TD passes per season.

Safe bet, in my opinion, that Baltimore will rank 30th or lower in passing yards.

2011San Francisco1281420018
2012San Francisco1561722223
2013San Francisco1381820121
2014San Francisco1361019120

—Ian Allan