Ravens coach John Harbaugh says ‘bet the over’ on Lamar Jackson rushing over 139 times this season
The Baltimore Ravens are currently in the process of implementing a brand new offense under sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson. While the Ravens see Jackson developing his passing skills more, his ability to escape and create with his legs is still something the team will seemingly be utilizing heavily.
Speaking to NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live over the weekend (via NFL.com), Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked how much the team sees Jackson running. During the question, ex-Ravens coach Brian Billick specifically noted that Cam Newton’s career-high in rushing attempts is 139. According to Harbaugh, Ravens fans should expect more.
“I’d bet the over on that one. I’d bet the over for sure,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be interesting. I don’t think we know the exact numbers or the math.”
The fact that Harbaugh is so sure of Jackson’s rushing count shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Jackson had 147 rushing attempts alone last year, averaging 17 rushes per game in the seven games he started. While the team likely won’t be demanding that much from Jackson’s legs again, the fact that he can do it – and do it well – is something the Ravens will likely be keeping in their playbook.
Of course, the risks of using Jackson as a runner too much are clear. Quarterbacks aren’t meant to take the types of hits that running backs and other position players do, so putting your franchise quarterback in the line of fire can be a tough sell. If it helps the Ravens compete for a Super Bowl, however, it’ll be up to Harbaugh to find the perfect balance for his young quarterback.