Texans Must Contend With Unknown But Familiar Baltimore Offense
It's Lamar Jackson but a New Offense Awaits
“It’s a challenge because you don’t know what you’re going to get,” said Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans.
It’s an unknown, he added.
The Texans know Lamar Jackson will be the quarterback. Houston is aware Baltimore went out and added two dynamic pass catchers in Odell Beckham and Zay Jones. How will the Ravens use their new additions, old steady tight end Mark Andrews, and former MVP quarterback is quite the guess to make.
Baltimore hired Todd Monken from the college ranks to be their offensive coordinator. Monken is fresh off running the offense for the back-to-back national champion Georgia Bulldogs. He hasn’t been in the NFL since 2019 when he was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.
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Ryans said for the gameplan one has to determine how far back you want to go into a coach’s history. Regardless of the coach, Lamar Jackson is the concern ultimately.
“For me, we know Lamar [Jackson] is an athletic quarterback,” Ryans said. “You know he can get loose – causes the defenses a lot of problems because of his athleticism.”
A lot of problems might be underselling it if you ask one of Ryans’ players along the defensive line.
“He can do everything,” said defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins about Jackson. “He can make the throws from the pocket. Deep throws. Intermediate. Short. With Accuracy. On the run. And obviously when he breaks contain and gets out of the pocket the most dangerous man in the league in that regard.”
That’s Rankins speaking from the past, from experience against Jackson. Last year Rankins played for the Jets against the Ravens in week one. The former MVP rushed for just 17 yards but passed for three touchdowns. That was with the old offense and less talent. The Ravens have added to their arsenal.
“From the looks of it, they’ve added a lot of explosive weapons on the offensive side, at the receiver position, to throw the ball more,” Ryans said. “We would think they would throw the ball, but knowing the Ravens and their style, they want to run the ball. They want to be a physical football team, so I think it will be a healthy mix of both.”
Regardless of what Jackson and his new pass catchers and his new offensive coordinator draw up, the Texans believe it’s up to them to execute what they’ve worked on to this point more so than the gameplan for Baltimore said Ryans.
“There’s a lot of unknown with the first game in the NFL every year, so you trust your technique, trust your fundamentals, trust our preparation and what we’ve been working on all throughout training camp.”
Rankins echoed his coach’s sentiment and said there’s an element of adjusting on the fly in week one based on what the Ravens show in the game.
If all goes to plan for Ryans and his team it has little to do with the Baltimore’s new scheme.
“The first game, it’s truly all about us,” said Ryans. “Offensively, defensively, special teams – it’s about us. If we do our job, everybody is playing together, then it’ll take care of itself.”
But will it take care of Lamar Jackson and the new-look Ravens? We will see on Sunday.
The Texans named four captains on Monday.
Laremy Tunsil, Jimmie Ward, Jalen Pitre, and C.J. Stroud were announced as captains.
Tunsil was a captain last year and has stepped into the leadership role in the past year. Jimmie Ward is a veteran and steadying force for the team in the backend. Jalen Pitre is a potential defensive star who sets the tone with his approach. C.J. Stroud has been steady and teammates rave about him as a person on and off the field. It’s a good group and a far cry from some of the iffy captains of the past few seasons.