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Steve Young Trashes Greg Roman Again. Here’s Why He’s Wrong

Steve Young OTL
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Between signing Marcus Williams and drafting Kyle Hamilton, the Baltimore Ravens’ safety upgrades have been one of the highlights of their offseason. And while Chuck Clark has gotten recent praise for a quietly excellent offseason, Tony Jefferson’s return to form has gone somewhat under the radar.

Thankfully, the NFL is starting to take notice of Jefferson’s incredible years-long comeback that has him looking just as good – if not better – than he did during his first stint in Baltimore.

Standout performances against the Bengals and the Rams in 2021 – both elite offenses last year – seem to have built his confidence back up to his pre-injury days. He’s one of the most energetic members of the team, whether he’s in the middle of the action or watching from the sidelines.

Now that he’s wearing glasses and can actually see what he’s doing on the football field, I think his veteran leadership will have an impact in the locker room and whenever he gets in a game.

Now let’s address the latest criticism of the Ravens, with Hall of Fame 49ers quarterback Steve Young blasting Baltimore’s lack of a “sophisticated passing game.”

You can watch the clip and go through everything Young says, but the message Ravens fans walked away with was clear: Greg Roman bad.

Is Roman one of the trendy, young offensive coordinators currently taking the league by storm? No, and even if he was, he’d be hired away from the Ravens almost immediately with the success he’s already had with Lamar Jackson.

A coordinator’s job is to design an offensive scheme, implement a playbook and deploy personnel based on the talents they have on the offense, specifically the quarterback. It’s hard to argue that Roman has done anything but that as Baltimore’s OC, which leads me to my next point: the Ravens like their offense this way.

Roman didn’t draft two tight ends, two offensive linemen and zero receivers this year; Eric DeCosta did! The entire team, from EDC on down, thinks they can maximize Jackson’s talents by finding market inefficiencies that make run-oriented players less expensive to acquire. That doesn’t mean they won’t pass the ball, but they’re certainly not overpaying for Kenny Golladay either.

I’ll admit, though, this is very much a prove-it year, for Jackson, Roman and the entire offensive strategy. 2018 and 2019 were proof-of-concept years, with enough success despite injuries in 2020 and 2021 for me to keep the faith.

But now, with younger, fresher running backs, a stronger offensive line and a sneaky-good array of pass-catchers for a renewed Jackson, the offense has everything it needs to work. And it needs to work.

Okay, rant over. Let’s move on to one of my favorite aspects of the Ravens’ overall organization: their professionalism and overall support for the game of football.

Personalized thank-yous go a long way, no matter how much we hate doing them. But this kind of outreach doesn’t just make the Ravens look good; it’s good business, too. It’s one of the many subtle ways that the Ravens outpace the NFL in finding the smallest advantages, whether it be attracting undrafted rookies or fostering positive relationships with college staffers to enhance the Ravens’ scouting process.

Having such excellent young players is a major reason why the Ravens haven’t lost a preseason game since 2015, something that one Steelers writer was really upset about.

I know we like to talk about the preseason streak as a point of pride, but I think this writer is missing the forest for the trees. It’s not about the individual preseason wins as a predictive measure of our team’s success every year. Lest we forget, the 0-16 Browns went 4-0 in the preseason.

Instead, it’s about the organization’s annual offseason process that yields an excellent group of backups and depth players that perform well in the preseason. Between their draft management, scouting of undrafted rookies and ability to find veteran diamonds in the rough, the Ravens regularly build the strongest 90-man roster in July and August. And yes, that is something to be proud of, especially when the coaching staff gets groups of players who’ve never played together to win every preseason game, every year!

Jonas Shaffer sums it up pretty well here:

Instead, I think we should be like Noah, who spent his words on Lamar Jackson’s children’s book instead of enviously complaining about the Ravens like, well, a child.

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