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  1. #1

    Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere






  2. #2
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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    Any quotes from the article?





  3. #3

    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    paywall
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.





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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    Here's the article:

    https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/...pni-story.html

    Lamar Jackson was not a particularly effective outside-the-numbers passer in 2019, when he was the NFL’s best quarterback and the Ravens won 14 games. Last season, Jackson’s second as a full-time starter, his range was even more limited. And still sometimes it did not matter.

    In a Week 9 game against the Colts, Jackson threw 23 passes, just five of which were outside the numbers. J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards offered little run-game relief, combining for 53 yards on 23 carries. Hemmed in and bottled up, there was only so much the Ravens could do on offense — but what they did was enough. Jackson finished 19-for-23 for 170 yards, the defense forced two turnovers and returned a fumble for a touchdown, and the Ravens left Indianapolis with a gutsy 24-10 win.

    Still, it was as if their field had shrunk on offense. At his end-of-season news conference in January, general manager Eric DeCosta said the Ravens “don’t want to be a team that’s forced to do anything.” In their passing game, limitations had become apparent. A throw over the middle was typically a good throw. Move the target to the sideline, however, and the results would suffer. The Ravens couldn’t put the ball where they wanted to, and defenses adjusted.

    There is never a simple solution for such a complex problem. As a passer, Jackson can do more; he can also do only so much. He needs help — help that, over the past two months, the Ravens have tried to provide. In March, they signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins, a productive if injury-prone outside receiver. Then, in late April, they drafted Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace, whom the Ravens’ analytics department, DeCosta said, had identified as two of the top-10 outside receivers in the class. Now the team expects dividends from its considerable investments.

    “When you add talent like that, it’s really, I think, going to kind of expand our profile quite a bit, actually, to play with the kind of balance that we really want to play with,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said after Bateman was taken No. 27 overall. “I really think it will probably take some pressure off some of the guys that have been here, like Marquise [’Hollywood’ Brown], and free him up a bit as well. The field is about 53 yards wide, and I think people are going to have to defend all 53 yards of it.”

    Defenses didn’t have to worry much last season. The threat of a sideline shot from Jackson wasn’t unlike that of an Anthony Davis 3-pointer — sure, it might work out, but there were far more concerning options in play.

    Maybe most troubling for the Ravens was Jackson’s drop-off from his Most Valuable Player-caliber 2019. According to Sports Info Solutions, on throws outside the numbers, his accuracy dipped from 64.7% to 59.7%, his interception rate more than doubled (to 3%), and his passer rating fell from 101.7 to 85.3. (The San Francisco 49ers’ Nick Mullens, by comparison, finished 27th in overall passer rating last season, at 84.1.)

    Jackson, since his arrival in Baltimore, has always been more comfortable targeting the middle. As a rookie, his between-the-numbers passing was more efficient than incumbent Joe Flacco’s. In 2019, he finished behind only the Tennessee Titans’ Ryan Tannehill in passer rating there. Even last season, a year of ups and downs, he completed over 70% of his passes and passed for 18 touchdowns and five interceptions on middle-field attempts. His season-changing red-zone interception in the playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills was a grim exception to the rule.

    Part of Jackson’s disappointing 2020 could be explained by the offensive line’s regression: According to Pro Football Focus, the Ravens ranked first in pressure rate allowed in 2019 (21.7%); with guard Marshal Yanda retired and left tackle Ronnie Stanley missing over half of last season, they finished 25th (34.8%).

    But that accounts for only so much of Jackson’s troubles with his outside passing. On drop-backs without pressure, among qualifying quarterbacks, only Dwayne Haskins Jr. had a lower passer rating than Jackson (78.1) last season on throws outside the numbers, according to SIS. Jackson finished with four touchdowns, four interceptions and a 64.8% completion rate.

    For the past two years, he has been among the NFL’s least efficient quarterbacks on those no-pressure, out-wide throws. Among 30 potential 2021 starters, Jackson ranks 26th in Expected Points Added per drop-back, which measures the value of a play by accounting for its down, distance and yards to goal. According to SIS, the only qualifying quarterbacks worse than him were not esteemed company: Andy Dalton, Drew Lock, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa.

    It was not just a Jackson problem. According to a review of last season’s receptions, Ravens wide receivers combined for no more than four or five contested catches on outside throws. But Jackson’s reluctance to throw to the sideline — more than 63% of his passes were over the middle, well above average, according to SIS — and his inaccuracy when doing so — Jackson had one one of the NFL’s lowest rates of throws “on target” — had a limiting effect on the rest of the offense.

    Defenses, for one, were mostly untroubled by isolated Ravens receivers. Why worry about shading a safety over to, say, Miles Boykin’s side when he’d be more helpful bracketing tight end Mark Andrews in coverage? Or gumming up the Ravens’ ground attack? Or spying Jackson? PFF found that the Ravens threw 77 times in formations with an isolated receiver last season. Only Brown was ever targeted on a “true isolation route” — and that happened just three times.

    The Ravens had to get better, so they got help. Watkins was not especially efficient outside the numbers over his past three seasons in Kansas City, but in 14 games in 2019, he had 232 yards and two touchdowns, according to SIS, third most on the Chiefs. In 2015, Watkins’ first season with then-Bills offensive coordinator Roman, he had 958 yards and a 151.1 passer rating when targeted outside the numbers.

    In the draft, the Ravens added two insurance policies. Bateman profiles as a scheme-versatile target, but he was at his best for Minnesota in split-wide alignments, where he led all Football Bowl Subdivision receivers in yards per route run in 2019, according to PFF.

    Bateman also finished in the top 20 nationally in contested-catch rate that season, and Wallace, the Ravens’ fourth-round pick and a productive outside receiver at Oklahoma State, has the NCAA’s most contested catches since 2018. Together, the two could bring out a side of Jackson he has seldom embraced.

    On outside routes that often lead to jump-ball throws — fades, go routes, double moves, back-shoulder throws — Jackson has been remarkably gun-shy. He threw seven of them in 2019 and seven in 2020, the fewest among the NFL’s regular starters. (He completed one and none, respectively, according to SIS.) The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, attempted 48 last season, completing 18. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady went 15-for-38.

    2021 could mark a turning point. In revamping their receiver room this offseason, the Ravens added “a lot of competition” to the position, Harbaugh said. He was hopeful that they’d push one another, that by working together, they’d improve together. But their evolution will depend, in part, on Jackson, just as his evolution will depend, in part, on them.

    “There are definitely some things that we’re doing right now to evolve, and there are definitely some things people are going to see from us that they haven’t seen before,” Roman said. “Our staff is working really hard and diligently on that for this upcoming season. When you really look at who you have to beat in the AFC these days, you’ve got to have talent everywhere. There are some really good teams out there, and I really feel great about what we’re building here.”





  5. #5
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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    ☝️ I agree, in fact have said and pointed this out all last season.





  6. #6

    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    It's the biggest flaw he has as a passer and he needs to put in the work on it. On the other hand, having guys who can win on the outside and a line that will protect him should help him out a lot.

    Teams know Lamar won't throw to the outside very often so it makes the passing game really easy to defend in the postseason. When you play good teams who are locked in for the postseason they will take away the middle of the field until you prove you can threaten other areas of the field.
    Last edited by s.r.genovese; 05-12-2021 at 09:42 AM.





  7. #7

    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    This has been an issue since the start. You need consistently good mechanics to drive the ball when you throw outside and his mechanics still aren't as consistent as they should be. I've also noticed that at times, he seems to try and aim the ball when making these throws.
    Although Walsh's system of offense can compensate for lack of talent; however, defense is a different story. According to Walsh, talent on defense was essential and could not be compensated for. What did Walsh do in 1981? He acquired physical and talented players on defense.





  8. #8

    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    At best Lamar's best pass outside the numbers is the vertical route. Never seen him try to attempt fades or even back shoulder.





  9. #9

    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    Quote Originally Posted by s.r.genovese View Post
    It's the biggest flaw he has as a passer and he needs to put in the work on it. On the other hand, having guys who can win on the outside and a line that will protect him should help him out a lot.

    Teams know Lamar won't throw to the outside very often so it makes the passing game really easy to defend in the postseason. When you play good teams who are locked in for the postseason they will take away the middle of the field until you prove you can threaten other areas of the field.
    I'm not sure if I agree. We had a brutal schedule in 2019, and Lamar continued to knock off the best teams in the league, and made them look silly too -- they were blowouts. That loss to the Titans should not have happened, but its the NFL, it happens. I'd call it "an upset" not something that necessarily "exposed" Lamar. Last year? It was the Covid year, Lamar dealt with Covid (and possibly IBS ) and missed some playing time from Covid. Plus the entire cadence of the season was off. I don't really read too much into 2020, and mostly go by what he did in 2018-2019. To me, those are two of the great seasons for a freshman and sophomore combo all time for a QB. If you look at the unbiased supporting team neutral analytics at least.





  10. #10
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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    Quote Originally Posted by InigoMontoya View Post
    Thanks for posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by JONAS SHAFFER
    Maybe most troubling for the Ravens was Jackson’s drop-off from his Most Valuable Player-caliber 2019. According to Sports Info Solutions, on throws outside the numbers, his accuracy dipped from 64.7% to 59.7%, his interception rate more than doubled (to 3%), and his passer rating fell from 101.7 to 85.3. (The San Francisco 49ers’ Nick Mullens, by comparison, finished 27th in overall passer rating last season, at 84.1.)
    I knew his overall accuracy numbers were down which matches his regression in rhythm drop back fundamentals (footwork etc).

    Its good to see the stats isolated for outside the numbers. Keep in mind that while his stats throwing outside hashes dropped the WRs personnel didn't change much...lost Roberts gained Duvernay and Prosche. The decline doesn't seem personnel related.

    Quote Originally Posted by JONAS SHAFFER
    But that accounts for only so much of Jackson’s troubles with his outside passing. On drop-backs without pressure, among qualifying quarterbacks, only Dwayne Haskins Jr. had a lower passer rating than Jackson (78.1) last season on throws outside the numbers, according to SIS. Jackson finished with four touchdowns, four interceptions and a 64.8% completion rate.

    For the past two years, he has been among the NFL’s least efficient quarterbacks on those no-pressure, out-wide throws. Among 30 potential 2021 starters, Jackson ranks 26th in Expected Points Added per drop-back, which measures the value of a play by accounting for its down, distance and yards to goal. According to SIS, the only qualifying quarterbacks worse than him were not esteemed company: Andy Dalton, Drew Lock, Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa.
    Outside the numbers is one of the areas the staff identified last offseason to improve and they regressed. My breakdown of accountability is part Lamar, part scheme, part coaching (QB coach) and part WRs.


    Quote Originally Posted by JONAS SHAFFER
    It was not just a Jackson problem. According to a review of last season’s receptions, Ravens wide receivers combined for no more than four or five contested catches on outside throws.
    This an odd statement, especially considering volume. Its virtually a meaningless stat as a stand alone with knowing how many contested catch opportunities they had. This is a case where knowing the contested catch success rate of the WRs vs the contested catch success rate for the league would be meaningful.

    Quote Originally Posted by JONAS SHAFFER
    But Jackson’s reluctance to throw to the sideline — more than 63% of his passes were over the middle, well above average, according to SIS — and his inaccuracy when doing so — Jackson had one one of the NFL’s lowest rates of throws “on target” — had a limiting effect on the rest of the offense.
    Not surprising, i've mentioned often how Lamar target accuracy and target quality dropped and the WRs that played outside the most and ran more true outside routes suffered the most as result. Miles Boykin had the lowest target accuracy and target quality of any WR on the team.



    Bateman also finished in the top 20 nationally in contested-catch rate that season, and Wallace, the Ravens’ fourth-round pick and a productive outside receiver at Oklahoma State, has the NCAA’s most contested catches since 2018. Together, the two could bring out a side of Jackson he has seldom embraced.
    Loved both of the those selections. Bateman is about as plug and play as a college WR prospect gets.
    If Tylan's speed translates and allows him to separate from NFL CBs like he did in college he might be the steal of the draft. (although his volume numbers won't reflect it)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonas
    On outside routes that often lead to jump-ball throws — fades, go routes, double moves, back-shoulder throws — Jackson has been remarkably gun-shy. He threw seven of them in 2019 and seven in 2020, the fewest among the NFL’s regular starters. (He completed one and none, respectively, according to SIS.) The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, meanwhile, attempted 48 last season, completing 18. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady went 15-for-38.
    Kinda contradicts his own statement from early when he seemed to down the WRs for only having 5 contested catches but Lamar only threw 7.

    But their evolution will depend, in part, on Jackson, just as his evolution will depend, in part, on them.
    +1
    Good article though, helps to further the assessment of the passing game and passing game accountability.
    Last edited by edromeo; 05-12-2021 at 11:57 AM.
    "Those corners...and those safeties are going to be one-on-one... and we got to make them pay for it,"





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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    You don't draft a guy like Bateman in round 1 and then don't throw to him outside the numbers. This is an outside guy. The Ravens recognized that they needed help there and spent their 1st pick in the draft on that help. I see this weakness being a point of emphasis for the offense this year. As long as Bateman is the player that everyone thinks he is this outside the numbers pass offense should be better this year
    Long Live The Bat





  12. #12
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    Re: Interesting article on Lamar's struggles outside the numbere

    Quote Originally Posted by GOTA View Post
    You don't draft a guy like Bateman in round 1 and then don't throw to him outside the numbers. This is an outside guy. The Ravens recognized that they needed help there and spent their 1st pick in the draft on that help. I see this weakness being a point of emphasis for the offense this year. As long as Bateman is the player that everyone thinks he is this outside the numbers pass offense should be better this year
    But WR personnel alone won't solve the problem. That's my take away from the article and imho its fact that many fans don't talk about or don't really mention as an issue.
    "Those corners...and those safeties are going to be one-on-one... and we got to make them pay for it,"





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