When Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson makes an appearance on offense, Joe Flacco is usually split out wide as a decoy. And while Flacco does have two catches and nearly 800 yards rushing during his 11-year career, he isn't known for his mobility and the likelihood of him being involved in a play is highly unlikely due to the fear of an injury.
On those plays, defenses can essentially ignore Flacco, putting the Ravens' offense at a disadvantage, according to Fox Sports analyst Daryl "Moose" Johnston.
"When you do these special packages with quarterbacks that have a unique skill set at the position like Lamar Jackson has, you really do reduce your odds because you're really playing 10 on 11," Johnston said on
Glenn Clark Radio
Oct. 19. "That gap that the defense would have to account for I'm just going to slide it because I'm not really worried about Joe Flacco."
If the Ravens had a more dynamic starting quarterback like the Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott or the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson, it may make more sense to split the starter out wide with Jackson under center, Johnston said.
"Now all of a sudden do you throw it backside to Joe Flacco?" said Johnston. "God forbid, now you're risking your quarterback of getting hurt. I've never really been able to see the advantage."
Jackson has played sparingly thus far this season. His best performance was during the season opener against the Buffalo Bills, a 47-3 Ravens win. Jackson has seen a handful of plays during each game since then, mostly on direct snaps. That inconsistent play may be affecting Jackson's ability to break off the big plays he was known for as a Heisman Trophy winner at Louisville, Johnston said.
"I've never been a big fan of having a quarterback like Lamar Jackson and then just sliding him in for a handful of plays," he said. "I'm a big believer in momentum and building that during the course of a drive. I never liked coming in and out of a lineup when I was on offense. I think it takes a while getting in the flow, not only during the course of a game but during the course of a series."
"To me, that would be disruptive," he added.
Jackson did have his longest run of the season against the Tennessee Titans Oct. 14, a 22-yard sprint into the Tennessee red zone that led to the Ravens' final score of the game. Jackson also scored on a 1-yard run at the end of the first half against the New Orleans Saints Oct. 21.
In an interview on Glenn Clark Radio Sept. 19, CBS analyst
James Lofton preached patience with the rookie quarterback
and argued his mere presence on the field forces opposing defenses to prepare for him during practice. But while defenses are preparing for Jackson, Johnston said the Ravens must also set aside valuable practice time for those plays, as well.
"I've never really seen the value of doing it because it takes time away from practice," Johnston said. "People will say that it forces the defense to spend time on it. Sure, OK, we're even there. But what are we gaining when we're doing this four, five, six times a game?"
For more from Johnston, listen to the full interview here:
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