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Amidst all of the injuries and penalties, the Ravens not only beat the Texans 25-9 on Sunday but Lamar Jackson took the new toy out of the April draft wrapper and let Zay Flowers touch the ball in space. Is it a preview of what’s to come for the Todd Monken offense?

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

lamar, years, flowers, mark andrews, dobbins, play, sunday, super bowl, week, quarterback, ball, lamar jackson, game, good, wide receiver, baltimore, injuries, win, talking, field

SPEAKERS

Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back at W n s t tacit Baltimore. I’m trying to make a new entrance this instead of saying welcome back, I’m going to say welcome home. It is our 25th anniversary. We are wn St. Baltimore positive. We’re doing football coverage around here better than anybody. There’s a reason they threw me out. We’re gonna find that out. There’s a reason they let Luke in so he can do his job as well. He was in locker room, you’ll hear all of that and Luke’s locker room you could find that out of Baltimore positive. And of course, if there’s any breaking news on any of these crazy injuries this week, you’ll get it first in the wn S T tech service brought to you by Koons Baltimore Ford. I’m holding lottery tickets. This is a marital lottery scratch off of the 50th anniversary. They had a big dude out there to stay Ferrell Friday night. I’ll have John Martin on this week. But we’re going to fade Lee’s on Friday from nine until noon. So I brought to you by the Maryland lottery your friends at window nation. I got my window nation shirt on 866 90 nation and our newest sponsors at Jiffy Lube. Big thanks to Pete, Jennifer everybody over media works. Jody, everybody for making that happen if you know any of them say thank you Jiffy Lube out they changed my oil a couple of weeks ago down in Merritt Boulevard. There’ll be changing your oil as well and filtering you and doing all that there’s no filter for me. But there is a filter for you Luke Jones and I guess we look we don’t injuries. We’ve done the bad news. Good news final. We’ve done this letter Steve shouting John Harper can do all of that. But there’s good news to hear right? Like say flowers flashed Lamar still upright. Odell Beckham made a catch. Justice Hill is gonna get a chance. Right. Pat Ricard got some playing time in Mark Andrews probably going to be back on the field this week from I mean, unless they’re lying to us, and they would never lie to us. Look, we know that. There’s good news here that a pass rush. I mean, Tucker made a field goal. I don’t I’m trying to what are the flowers in this Beyonce flowers loop?

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Luke Jones  01:47

I mean, you just laid it out. There’s still a lot. Going for this football team. I think we want to walk a proper balance here between acknowledging, yeah, losing JK Dobbins is a big deal. Yeah. All right. Well, when you’re talking about someone who you at least were entertaining, the thought of signing long term, I’m not saying that that was going to happen. But you lose your best running back. You lose that upside as we talked about in some of our previous segments. And you’re trying to fill that void, you know, and it’s not just going to be Justice Hill. It’s going to be a number of guys right in terms of upside and trying to stay healthy at other positions, but you just laid it out there way better at wide receiver. Odell Beckham didn’t have a big day by any stretch but did have the 29 yard catch that got everyone on their feet. You know, Rashad, Bateman quietly had 35 receiving yards, three catches nice to see him for the first time since late October of last season. So you’ll build build on that you’ll get Mark Andrews back, but yeah, you just said it two things. One, Lamar Jackson healthy, upright and on the field for the first time since early December last year. At a time when, let’s face it, you weren’t the only one who had significant thoughts about the possibility that that was the last time you’re going to see Lamar Jackson, especially when we got into February, March and April and how ugly and contentious it had gotten before they finally got a long term deal done. But they have Lamar on the field. It wasn’t his best performance. Clearly, he throws the interception early on. Had a couple of fumbles last one of those, it’s got to be better with the football certainly struggled to get into rhythm as really the entire offense did. And I think pass protection was a big part of that. I had some issues with the Blitz. But for me, my biggest takeaway my most encouraging development from Sunday was really a continuation of what we saw summer Nestor, and it was a flowers doing what he did. And with a rookie player. I’m always fascinated to see how they handle each checkpoint along the way from the moment they arrive for rookie camp in early May. To this point and beyond, you’re always looking to see how someone handles those checkpoints. Real easy to look good during rookie camp. It’s easy to look good during OTAs when you’re practicing and helmets and shorts. It’s easy to look good in training camp one. Yeah, you’ve you’ve added contact to the equation, least a little bit certainly not full blown contact like it was back in the day. But you’re still practicing. It’s still a controlled environment. There’s still very little pressure on you. The next step is the preseason. And we saw zay flowers making plays there and limited opportunities specifically against Washington in that second preseason game. But you’re always wondering how it translates at the next checkpoint the next, that next graduation moment where it’s a little more real than it was before. Nj flowers handled that he handled it really well. He made guys miss, just like he had all summer on the backfields and Owings Mills just like he did to the Washington commanders last month. He did that against the Houston tech Since now the challenge will be continuing to do that week in and week out, but I think it was evident. I mean, go look at the snap counts. Odell Beckham was on the field the entire time. I mean, he rarely came off the field. They had Isaiah likely on the field a lot they had not as much because Bateman and Aguilar kind of shared that number three wide receiver roles so to speak. But say flowers was the go to guy, you know, he was targeted 10 times even though a couple of those were more of a run play. He carried the ball a couple times. And he moved the chains 1/3 down for different on four different occasions. So he was Lamar Jackson’s go to guide. That’s not to say he will continue to be once Mark Andrews is back on the field. And we talked about the fact that there wasn’t a whole lot working over the middle of the field for this passing game. And I think that’s one reason why it was so choppy. Because we know that’s where Lamar has lived over the years him and Mark Andrews, I mean, it’s been so the other

Nestor Aparicio  05:53

part of this is gonna be pocket awareness, pocket protection time letting things happen. Lamar seeing things like all of these things. We haven’t seen a whole lot of that, from Lamar the last couple of years, because you haven’t had the wide receivers, they wanted to run the ball. They were in the phone booth with Greg Roman. All of this looks and feels different, right? I mean, I saw Bateman get involved. I saw Beckham get involved. But you know, at the end of the day, a couple balls here and there, we did a lot of talking about the wide receivers we’re going to and I would have predicted this from the beginning. We’re going to do a lot less talking about it on those three hours on Sunday than we have the last six months. Because he ain’t throwing the ball 51 times. And if he is they’re getting their ass kicked. Or they’re winning 41 to 38. I mean, like, that’s not the play even though all the talking heads wide receivers wide received the room Nelson Aguilar all the How much are they going to want to throw? And then how well can they throw? And how often are they really gonna go down the field especially. And this week, they don’t have Stanley, they might not have Linder bomb, you know, like, they don’t have the options to open that part of it up, that their game is going to change this week, just through health. And we’ve talked about that from the beginning, health is going to change whatever we see on the field this Sunday, because it’s gonna look a whole lot different if that all lines decimated.

Luke Jones  07:11

Right. And that’s why I think you look at someone like say flowers, he could be even more important than he was this week, which is saying a lot but because he was the leading receiver he had more touches than anyone out there. But if you have issues with your offensive line, we even saw this against Houston. I mean, they had their issues against the Blitz even before Stanley and Linda bomb get hurt late in the game, but wasn’t gonna need to come out quick. And yeah, you can throw it to other guys but ze flowers being that guy with his ability to make you miss and that’s why it’s not the same exact player. But the same kind of upside that a Dobbins brought you because he could make miss so many tackles your break so many tackles. But you want to try to figure out ways to get him the ball in space very quickly, ball comes out means your quarterbacks not being hit means you’re not taking losses in the pocket. And ze flours has the ability to break a tackle and turn what looks like it could be a two yard loss into an 11 yard gain or even bigger than that. So

Nestor Aparicio  08:07

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elements of the Peyton Manning Tom Brady kind of offense, right, right.

Luke Jones  08:11

And we’ve heard Todd Monken talk about this so much. And again, it doesn’t necessarily translate to they’re going to throw 45 times a game but they do want to throw more they do they haven’t shied away from that. But at the same time what does it look like that doesn’t mean you’re going to be have seven step drops in the marsh just standing back in the pocket for seven seconds. I think a lot of that is try to become a little more timing based ball coming out quicker and what you need for that are some guys that can create guys that can gain yards after the catch and say flowers is that guy I think he has the the ability to do that at every level. And I don’t know if it necessarily means the deep ball, especially if Ronnie Stanley and Linda Obama aren’t out there for at least a short period of time. But he’s the kind of guy that you can get the ball to and Justice Hill another example of someone I think that they’ll try to do that with with Dobbins being out of the picture now, where you get the ball out quick, keep your quarterback up, right. You try to stay on schedule that way. And you try to see if guys can make someone miss and pick up yardage that way. I mean, one thing about the Greg Roman offense, whether you were higher on Greg Roman or not. Very rarely did it have any semblance of Yak, you rarely ever saw yards after the catch. And that offense. I mean, maybe Marquis brown a little bit at his best. We certainly saw it very early last year with Rashad Bateman as he took that slam against the dolphins. But there wasn’t much of that it was generally find a window and Lamar completes it and whoever catches the ball gets tackled right away. I mean, that’s kind of what we’ve seen what we had seen for the last four years or so, and very successful. For the most part. Let’s be clear about that. But you do want some more explosiveness, you do want to be able to generate some big plays, you don’t want to be in a position where it’s Lamar Jackson having to do all of it, as was too often the case last few years, which is a big reason, maybe not a big reason. But part of the reason why he may have gotten hurt the end of the last two years, although I’ll remind everyone he was throwing in each instance. So injuries are gonna happen. But if you want to keep them more healthy, you want to keep this offense progressing, getting more comfortable. I’m not shocked that it was choppy on Sunday. I mean, we talked about the whole preseason factor in our previous discussion talking about penalties, but it’s a new offense. I don’t expect it to look pristine and perfect. And week one, what you do want to see and what is critical for this group, and that’s why these injuries do complicate this challenge. You want to see progress. You want to see it look better in week two than it did in week one. For one reason you’re going up against a much better football team in Cincinnati. You want to see it look better in week six than it did in week two. And you certainly want to see it look better in November, December in January than it’s going to look in September and October. It’s not to say that you’re dismissive of struggles, Lamar Jackson has to be better. He turned the ball over twice. And it could have been a third time he was not his best football game by any means. But wasn’t Joe burrows best football game, it wasn’t Kenny pickets best football. I mean, there, there are plenty of quarterbacks around the league, good quarterbacks around the league that did not have great days. So that’s a reminder, it’s week one, especially the any guys that aren’t playing in the preseason at all. Yeah, there’s gonna be some rust and Lamar even acknowledge I need to be better. I was rusty. I hadn’t played since basically late November, because he got knocked out so early in that December 4 game against Denver last year. So it’s not an excuse. He’s he knows he needs to be better. And it certainly has to protect the football at a higher level. And to his credit over the course of his career. Lamar has generally done that, you know of other than his rookie year where he did fumble a heck of a lot. He hasn’t done that a whole lot in his career. So you trust that he’ll be better in that way. You trust that the offense will be better and more comfortable as they get their sea legs under them, so to speak. But in the meantime, you get someone like Jay flowers who has that suddenness, that athleticism, that ability to make people miss that the Ravens were hoping they were getting with JK Dobbins. And obviously that’s not the case. But the only guy they’ve consistently had over the last four years, five years that’s done that is who Lamar Jackson. So if you add ze flowers, as someone who can do that as well, it’s just going to make you better. And those are the kinds of players that can cover up other mistakes, other deficiencies, other weaknesses, and certainly with the Ravens having the injury concerns that they already have, you know, with Dobbins long term, and at least short term was Stanley and Linder balm, and from Mark Andrews into that as well even though I think we’ll see him back this week, you know, as a flours adding adding him to the mix, his skill sets the mix, that can do a lot to help you and make up for some weaknesses elsewhere.

Nestor Aparicio  13:04

You know, we see the game on Sunday, and you have this kid who’s the draft pick, they throw him in there. They talk about the fake quarterback battle all summer long. And then you see Richardson running around for the Colts and these other young players out on the field at this point. Lamar is now like the guy all the money all the offseason all of the nonsense that went into all of this feels like it’s a long way away. Right? Like it doesn’t feel like there was ever any acrimony animosity that John Harbaugh sent me a text last year when he didn’t show up in OTAs, which is all true. Lamar was a very good Sunday, right like, and I think there’s a point and maybe this is where you and I really veer down to different yellow brick roads in regard to you know, getting to the Emerald City, or in this case, the lavender city of winning a Super Bowl with this team, right? You think Lamar is a Super Bowl winner a pile diver a lot of people do the Ravens clearly do a lot of teams don’t think that of him. They didn’t draft him. They didn’t pursue him in the offseason. Nobody pursued him. We talked about this. Nobody really wanted him. Nobody was willing to say yeah, I’ll give you my Anthony Richardson and some friggin linebacker and we’ll pay him the 52 million a year and you go take the rookie quarterback and start over again. Ravens didn’t want to do that that would have cost Eric Eric the cost and John Harbaugh their jobs right like three years of whatever the Texans look like on Sunday that would have been unacceptable here so they went in on Lamar. i We can talk about 2019 All you want you can talk about the injuries all you want. You can talk about the phone booth where he’s just he does things nobody else can do. But on a week by week. How’s he passing? How’s he throwing they don’t want him run in? Is he upright? And then what he does when he’s out there? Bad team rust first time out. They’re all here all that he played great. I mean, just from a He, He didn’t play great. kicking the ball around is not good.

Luke Jones  15:02

He didn’t Joe burrow didn’t play well either. I mean, Joe burrow was awful. That might have been the worst game of his career. I mean, look, he was out for training camp and again for on a week by week basis Yeah, you can chalk it up to whatever you want to Lamar didn’t play well. I’m not gonna sit here and defend how he played on Sunday didn’t play well. But at the same time, resting

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Nestor Aparicio  15:21

give him on the report card. I mean, chat told me I gotta be more like, Mike, I better I better get a son subscription is what I need to do. But I mean, like, Lamar is a state, maybe c minus for you, right?

Luke Jones  15:31

I think at best, he’s a C. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. Especially considering the standard, right? I mean, you’re talking about, I will bring this up. He is a former NFL MVP is a two time Pro Bowl quarterback in the same way that Joe burrow was an F on Sunday for Cincinnati, and they were awful. Just awful. But it’s week one. And we’ve talked about this with guys who don’t play in the preseason. There’s rust in the case of Lamar, I mean, again, played in a real game since early December last year. Now better be better for on Sunday going to Cincinnati knowing the Bengals the urgency that they’re going to be playing with. So but it’s a work in progress. It is and, you know, to go back to what you mentioned about the you know how confident I am and that they’re gonna win a Super Bowl. I mean, look, you never really know. I mean, there’s one guy that you can talk about in today’s game because Tom Brady was being honored in Foxborough on Sunday. He’s not playing anymore. So there’s one guy that you can talk about in the NFL today. That has done it more than once. It’s Patrick mahomes. Everyone else is chasing that. Joe Barrows gotten to a Super Bowl. Josh Allen’s gotten to an AFC Championship, but he hasn’t broken

Nestor Aparicio  16:42

Jared Goff play and went on Thursday, they had a beautiful win, right?

Luke Jones  16:47

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He got to a Super Bowl hasn’t won, and he’s not regarded as a dude. Right? He’s not regarded as a franchise

Nestor Aparicio  16:54

this week by mahomes.

Luke Jones  16:57

Right. But but the point is all of these guys. There’s a Yale but

Nestor Aparicio  17:04

some are for Jared Goff I guess. Right. I mean, the fans here wouldn’t think that that’s a great list.

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Luke Jones  17:08

It’s a short list. I mean, Jalen hertz, made it to the Super Bowl last year was amazing for the Eagles. But until he wins, he’s gonna be under scrutiny in Philadelphia. And, and you know, he had a big fumble in that game.

Nestor Aparicio  17:19

Last time. Aaron Rodgers is in a Super Bowl. Right. I mean,

Luke Jones  17:23

there’s, and you know what, I’m glad you brought him up, because I honestly did forget about him for a second when I was saying that. He won a Super Bowl back in 2010 13 years ago. I mean, look, Aaron Rodgers is a multiple time MVP. He’s going to the Hall of Fame first ballot, no doubt about it. But there were there were all kinds of talk about him in Green Bay the last several years where the Packers a team, kind of like how the Ravens had been viewed in the sense of all this regular season success, but they haven’t gotten back to a Super Bowl since then. Right. So all these quarterbacks have that caveat, other than mahomes Yeah, he’s the guy who, you know, Matthew Stafford one as the new guy with the Rams team of going all in and bleep those pics and all that and, but it’s mahomes He’s the standard and everyone else is chasing that. So I don’t know for sure if the ravens are gonna win a Super Bowl under Lamar Jackson. I’ll say this. If they continue to lose JK Dobbins and Ronnie Stanley type players every year then probably not you know, you have to stay healthy. And I know you even wrote in your column this this after the game that there’s a lot of luck involved in winning a Super Bowl. You know, the 2012 team must we must do we forget that they were Raheem more misplay on the Jacoby Jones Mile High miracle touchdown, going home in the divisional round. I mean, everyone kind of thought it was over and then it wasn’t so you get a play everybody in the press box at Denver thought it was over except me to Causton and Newsom up there. And just think about if that play doesn’t happen, how the perspective or the perception of Joe Flacco was so different in this town, I was talking about books and John Harbaugh wouldn’t have a job right now. Joe Flacco wouldn’t be coaching the lions or something. Yeah, Joe Flacco would have made less money and we would have said about him the same thing that people say about Lamar other young quarter Jericho that haven’t broken through, he can’t win the big one. Right. So there’s always luck involved. There are always some variables involved some good fortune, the ball bounces your way you stay healthy. You’ve got a coach who’s a perfect fit at the perfect time with the perfect scheme for your players. And you know, you have some you have just enough guys like Lamar, like Jose flowers, for example, who might be able to eventually cover up some shortcomings here and there and again, say flowers has played one game let’s pump the brakes as much as I’m praising him. Hollywood Brown had a historic rookie debut And, you know, he was solid, but he was never better than that. So, you know, you want to temper expectations and understand that, you know, it’s a challenge different challenge every week. But there’s still a lot to like about this football team and it still begins with number eight, under center or in the Shaka and I should probably say because he’s not under center all that much. But you know, they’ve got to stay healthy on both sides of the ball. But if you have Jackson healthy all year, which they did not have the last couple years and we saw what that meant for them. They’re done at that point any say what you want about Yeah, they were a quarterback sneak fumble away from maybe winning in Cincinnati in the wild card round. They weren’t going anywhere though. They were making a deep January run with Tyler Huntley. But when the large Jackson’s healthy, and he’s back there and you hope that Todd Monken system, choppy week one or not, is going to unlock some new elements to Lamar Jackson that we haven’t maybe seen in the past. Certainly the wide receiver improvement will help in that. You’re hoping that they do have a higher upside but you got to stay healthy. And unfortunately, it brings us back to the biggest takeaway from week one, which is losing JK Dobbins and some other guys to some injuries that you hope are not long term, but immediately removing Dobbins from the equation doesn’t sink their chances. But it doesn’t make it any easier. And it certainly leaves their margin for error smaller when you’re talking about a player of that caliber, even if he hasn’t been on the field for most of the last three years. Now. Here’s Luke Jones.

Nestor Aparicio  21:28

He is a Baltimore Luke ad on the Instagrams and the interwebs and the Facebook’s and the LinkedIn and all those places that we are at wn St. He’s going to be at Camden Yards all week. We’re gonna get some baseball in here. We’re going to be at the nest on Friday night which is they didn’t really name it after me but I’m going to have some fun with this. It is underneath the cupcake here on top of the convention center. Have you ever seen the convention center deck where the scalpers used to be and they used to sell pretzels and and sausages at the ballpark on Conway Street at the corner Conway and literally 395 the foot of the city coming in on Howard Street, you can find us now I’m going to be there so that game on Friday I have a dear Adam Jones note coming out this week. I have a dear Eric the cost the letter my Colin this off the game is up at Baltimore positive.com. Of course, Luke is writing 24 hours a day all the time. And we’re here to win radio. We got a great radio this week. Mike Lombardi is coming on to talk about his new book. I got Kenny Albert’s new book but I’m not having him on this week because he’s too freakin busy. Baseball and night football on the weekend. The purple birds going at Cincinnati this week. And if you’re on the WNS, T tech servers, you’ll get it first. Whenever we get these injury reports on Ronnie Stanley Marcus Williams looks like more bad news. Tyler Linder bomb obviously working on getting Mark Andrews back in the lineup as well. Luke is on all of that on Friday morning. We’re gonna be doing the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road nine until noon. At fatally he’s just up the street from Oriole Park at Camden Yards are all the excitement is going to be going on here as the race come to town this weekend. And the Orioles at 40 games over 500 Getting all stacked up here for the playoffs and trying to get the October scheduled together. We’re going to be down to fade Lee’s in the morning. It’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery. I have scratch offs here. The 50th anniversary I’m actually gonna have the Raven scratch offs on Friday. I think I’m also going to have them at the nest on Friday night as well. Hopefully we get some purple winners as well. Nine till noon a family’s going to be there with Dr. Anthony Jenkins from Coppin State University as well as new basketball coach Larry Stewart’s it’d be good to have Sue back on talking about the old NBA days and Fang Mitchell and all that good stuff as well brought to you by the Maryland lottery our friends when their nation 866 90 nation make sure you’re taking advantage of the buy one get one free to buy to get two free excuse me, with window nation 866 90 nation and our sponsor Jiffy Lube as well. Curio is aboard sponsoring our columnists and our 25th anniversary so make sure you’re checking that out. Lots of changes up on the website this week. Lots of stuff looks got his locker room stuff there and all of our podcasts are available. Hey, it’s football season. We’re throwing a little first place baseball as well. been 25 years I’ve been waiting a long time for a month like this. I’m Nestor he’s loop we are wn st am 1570 house in Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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