The pressure is squarely on struggling veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to prove his worth this summer. Now that the Baltimore Ravens have exhausted a first-round pick on his eventual successor, the team is doing everything possible to give Lamar Jackson a look during mandatory minicamp this week.
In fact, Baltimore gave Jackson almost all of the first-team reps over Flacco during practice on Thursday. This information comes to us via team officials on hand during practice.
For his part, head coach John Harbaugh had nothing but great things to say about how Jackson handled the first-team reps.
The Ravens challenged Lamar Jackson with today's practice by giving him almost all the reps. John Harbaugh said the rookie responded well to the challenge and the pressure of running the entire offense. Good day for the first-rounder.
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) June 14, 2018
Normally, we wouldn’t read too much into a veteran starter not receiving first-team action during summer practice. That’s until we realize there’s only a limited number of opportunities for Flacco to mesh with new wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead prior to training camp.
For his part, Jackson talked about the extra run he got with the first team following practice.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 14, 2018
While it’s still highly unlikely Baltimore would start Jackson over Flacco next season, the team has been attempting to implement an off-the-wall quarterback strategy. That could include Jackson getting more run than expected as a rookie.
Flacco, 33, is coming off 2017 campaign that saw him throw for just 3,141 yards with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He knows that’s not going to cut it moving forward.