The Lamar Jackson trade saga is officially in the rearview mirror after the Baltimore Ravens star quarterback signed a five-year, $260 million contract earlier this offseason to remain with the team — and the 26-year-old is going to have a lot more say in the offense in 2023.
“Coach [Monken] is basically just giving us the keys to the offense, really,” Jackson said on Friday, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley. “I'm loving it.”
Monken is giving Jackson more authority to change plays than he had in the past, showing more confidence in the star signal-caller. Part of that is more no-huddles next season, which is similar to what Baltimore has utilized in the past.
“We've been in that world before, but not to this degree,” head coach John Harbaugh said, per Hensley. “To me, the offense starts in that world more than it did before, and I'm excited about that, [and] I know Lamar is excited about that.”
Jackson totalled 32 no-huddle plays over his first four seasons as a starting quarterback, ranking 32nd in the NFL in that span. Although it wasn't utilized often, it was successful — Lamar completed 70.5 percent of his throws when not huddling.
“I'm going to try to be more of a vocal leader, because Coach [Harbaugh] was like, ‘You need to start speaking more,'” Jackson continued. “I just try to lead by example, but I'll try to be more of a vocal leader.”
Lamar Jackson's contract is new, the Baltimore Ravens offense is new, and the team hopes a new season will bring renewed success to Maryland.
“At the end of the day,” Jackson asserted, “guys just want to see you being you and being true to yourself and true to them.”