Steve Young Angrily Declares Lamar Jackson Is Being ‘Held Back’ By Ravens Offensive Scheme

There are a lot of theories as to why the Baltimore Ravens haven’t broken through to make a serious Super Bowl run during the Lamar Jackson Era. Some blame the talent on the squad, others blame lousy injury luck, and still others blame the quarterback himself.

At least one legendary QB laces the blame squarely on the Ravens coaching staff and the offense they run, though. Hall of Famer Steve Young believes the biggest thing holding Lamar Jackson back is the Ravens’ offense.

Steve Young blasted the Ravens’ offense

On the ESPN pregame show ahead of the Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks preseason game, Hall of Fame San Francisco 49ers QB Steve Young went off during a discussion of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense.

“The Ravens have doubled-down again on being the most sophisticated running game in football. And they have been mowing through regular season opponents for a long time with this most sophisticated running game,” Young told his co-hosts. “But my position is, they will never get to championship football without a sophisticated passing game.”

Young said that the lack of sophistication in the passing game has nothing to do with Jackson and everything to do with the Ravens coaching staff on that side of the ball.

In fact, Young went so far as to say about Jackson, “I think he’d be the greatest player in the history of the game” if he weren’t “held back” by the Ravens.

It was a passionate case that the Ravens aren’t doing right by Jackson, and Young even mentioned that the end-of-his-rookie-contract QB isn’t getting paid because of this lack of a sophisticated passing offense.

We won’t truly know how sophisticated the Ravens 2022 passing offense is until at least Week 1 of the regular season. What we do know now is that while it might not be as “sophisticated” as the offense Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes run, the Ravens took major steps this offseason to create a passing offense that caters to Jackson’s strengths.

The Ravens are leaning into Lamar Jackson’s strengths as a passer in 2022

(L-R) ESPN's Steve Young; Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
(L-R) Steve Young, Lamar Jackson | Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Whether Steve Young is right or wrong, it does seem like the Baltimore Ravens are striving to create the best passing offense for Lamar Jackson in 2022.

Standing in the pocket and waiting for speedy receivers to get open downfield is not Jackson’s strength. To that end, the team parted ways with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown this offseason. The Ravens will replace Brown’s speed (and drops) with the quick, possession-based Devin Duvernay and the big, physical Rashod Bateman.

Additionally, Baltimore doubled down on Jackson’s favorite position in the 2022 NFL Draft.

For the last three seasons, tight end Mark Andrews has been Lamar Jackson’s favorite target. The former Oklahoma tight end has led (or co-led) the team in receptions since 2019. So, what did the Ravens do with this data?

The franchised used it to pick two TEs in the last draft. Jim Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta took Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar No. 128 overall and Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely 11 picks later. Adding these two to a tight ends room with Andrews and seven-year vet Nick Boyle gives Baltimore one of (if not the) deepest TE groups in the league.

This will help accentuate Jackson’s ability to throw quick passes across the middle of the field or down the seam and, hopefully, make the Ravens’ offense a more “sophisticated passing game.”

Steve Young will approve.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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