Does Ravens OC search hint at path for Geno Smith, future of Seahawks QB?
Dave Canales could be an interesting turning point: Seaside Joe 1429
The Baltimore Ravens promoted Greg Roman from assistant head coach/tight ends to offensive coordinator in 2019 because they wanted him to develop Lamar Jackson into an MVP quarterback (mission accomplished) and to keep him from leaving for other offers, such as from new Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores. Roman suffered the same fate as many other offensive and defensive coordinators, which is that if you don’t land a head coaching job at your peak then you’re liable to be fired before you reach your fourth or fifth season in the role.
Roman made it through four seasons as the Ravens offensive coordinator, but neither Jackson nor his backups (who got 12 appearances since 2020) were particularly dangerous passers over the past three years and Baltimore recently opted to go in another direction. That change of course could lead directly to the Pete Carroll pipeline.
The Ravens have now spoken to Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales not once, but twice about their vacancy at offensive coordinator, indicating that head coach John Harbaugh is very serious about an assistant who has never held the job at the NFL level.
It is not unfair to think that Harbaugh wants Baltimore’s next offensive coordinator to revive the Lamar Jackson who we saw play in 2019 (NFL-best 36 touchdown passes, 33.2 points per game, and the Ravens were first in rushing yards/yards per carry per game) but the head coach and general manager Eric DeCosta are also well aware of the fact that they can’t guarantee their OC hire is for Lamar; Baltimore thought that they would have a long-term contract in place for Lamar Jackson a year ago and as Harbaugh has put it, “He goes to the beat of his own drum.”
Harbaugh also has said that he is “200-percent confident” that Jackson will be on the Ravens next season, but overall I’d say comments by him and DeCosta sound just as confident as the quotes by Pete Carroll and John Schneider about Frank Clark in 2019. Everyone has a plan until they get
punched in the mouth offered three first round picks and an easy out from a $250 million contract.
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As I wrote in Tuesday’s bonus article, I am leaning against Lamar Jackson returning to the Ravens. His situation doesn’t feel too dissimilar to me than that of Russell Wilson a year ago, in that he’s a star quarterback who sort of fell backwards into a franchise that isn’t necessarily as jazzed about the position as some others who are always willing to overpay for it. The Ravens were burned hard by the Joe Flacco extension after winning the Super Bowl in 2012-13 and they didn’t panic during negotiations last year even after Joe Burrow went to the Super Bowl and the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson.
My projection in that in-depth article by an incredibly talented writer: The Atlanta Falcons. A franchise owner desperate for a star quarterback with the right coaching and offensive pieces in place and Arthur Blank would surely think more highly of Lamar Jackson than anyone he could draft with the eighth overall pick. And plenty of cap space.