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John Harbaugh On Lamar Jackson: 'I'd Sure Like Him Out There Helping Us'

June 12, 2018
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson lined up at multiple positions on offense during the Ravens' first workout of mandatory minicamp June 12 as the team examines adding a potential dynamic wrinkle to their offense in 2018.

At times, both starting quarterback Joe Flacco and the Heisman Trophy-winning Jackson were on the field together, which head coach John Harbaugh said "gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches" and is all about getting a potential playmaker on the field.

"You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys," Harbaugh said. "I mean, Lamar's going to be on the team. I fully expect him to be active on game day. So, gosh, I'd sure like him out there helping us. And he can play quarterback, so [if] we put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? And that's what we try to figure out."

Wide receiver Chris Moore said he is "in awe" when Jackson takes off running. "Most people, especially at quarterback, can't move the way he does."

Moore said it's smart to get Jackson and his playmaking ability on the field somehow. 

"The defense is not going to be ready for it," Moore said. "They're going to have to scheme against that specific package every week, and it's just going to help the whole team out."

Linebacker C.J. Mosley, playing opposite Jackson in 11-on-11 drills, has seen up close what kind of potential the look can bring.

"He's been giving us some problems on some of the plays," Mosley said. " … He's a natural runner. Once he gets out of the pocket … it's amazing to watch."

The Ravens continue minicamp workouts June 13-14, and then have roughly a one-month break before training camp begins. Here are five other observations from the June 12 minicamp:

SUGGS IS BACK: Veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs was on the field for the mandatory minicamp after sitting out voluntary OTA practices that were open to the media. Suggs, who has been training at the Ravens facility this offseason, is a loud, vocal presence throughout practice, whether on the field during an 11-on-11 drill or just barking from the sideline.

During one two-minute drill, the offense came away empty when a 49-yard field goal try by rookie kicker Kaare Vedvik hit the left upright and bounced away. "Hey!" Suggs shouted across to the offense. "Did all that work for nothing!" Another time, he hollered, "Nice job, Mr. Referee!" after a flag was thrown on the offense. Mosley said practice when Suggs is on the field is "the same, but just louder."

ARE PERRIMAN'S DAYS NUMBERED? Former first-round pick Breshad Perriman dropped a pass on an out route. He hasn't shined this spring as he did last year, leaving his roster status in question heading toward training camp. Perriman is reportedly due a roster bonus on the third day of camp, but will he be there to receive it? Newcomer veterans Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead -- and returnee Chris Moore -- all figure to be locks to make the team. So, too, do Jordan Lasley and Jaleel Scott, since the Ravens rarely cut rookie draft picks. 

Two things in particular hurt Perriman's chances, starting with the fact that he doesn't play on special teams. Second-year receiver Tim White, who took a lot of reps with the second group, is getting a look at punt returner, which might give him an edge over Perriman. And if the Ravens keep three quarterbacks -- a decent possibility this year with both Robert Griffin III and Jackson -- that would cost a roster spot elsewhere. The Ravens haven't kept three quarterbacks on the original 53-man roster since 2009. 

BOWSER MAKES THE PLAY OF THE DAY: Second-year linebacker Tyus Bowser had the play of the day, stepping in front of a throw by Flacco in a red-zone drill and taking it back for what would have been about a 98-yard touchdown. It wasn't a particularly strong day for the offense, with a few dropped passes and some other misconnections between quarterbacks and receivers. Other notable plays by the defense in the passing game included a diving interception by safety Eric Weddle and a nice pass breakup in the end zone by rookie cornerback Anthony Averett.

LARGER ROLE FOR HENRY: On a conference call with season-ticket holders last month, Suggs said he expected to see defensive lineman Willie Henry make a big jump this season, and he took a lot of reps with the first unit June 12. Henry lined up alongside Brandon Williams and could give the Ravens a more potent interior pass rush. Henry, a third-year player out of Michigan who didn't play a snap as a rookie, took on an increased role as last season went on and finished with 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks. 

LEWIS SITS OUT WITH BACK SPASMS: Offensive lineman Alex Lewis missed the workout with back spasms, Harbaugh said. Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda is still recuperating from his ankle injury last season, so with those starters sidelined, the Ravens starting offensive line June 12 featured Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, Jermaine Eluemunor at left guard, Matt Skura at center, James Hurst at right guard and rookie Orlando Brown Jr. at right tackle.

Other Ravens missing the workout included WR Quincy Adeboyejo (knee), TE Vince Mayle (undisclosed), CB Jimmy Smith (Achilles), CB Maurice Canady (knee), DB Anthony Levine (foot), CB Jaylen Hill (knee), LB Bam Bradley (knee), LB Albert McClellan (knee) and DL Carl Davis (shoulder). McClellan at one point was doing wind sprints in one end zone. 

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Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox