Things are changing on offense for the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, and it appears that they want to involve their running backs in the passing game more this coming season.
Baltimore’s running backs did very little in the passing game last season, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman believes that getting second-year back J.K. Dobbins more involved will improve the team’s offense.
"We’d love to really have a threat out of the backfield. J.K. is a very talented athlete,” Roman said. "He didn’t do much route running in high school or college, really. He was just toting the rock, getting handoffs. I think he has got the skill set and the talent to really include him as a viable weapon in the passing game. That’s a big focus of what we’re doing right now.”
The Ravens won a playoff game last season, and WynnBET has the Ravens projected to win 10.5 games with the over (-150) favored to the under (+125). Essentially, Vegas expects Baltimore to build on last year’s success, and the Ravens have -320 odds to make the playoffs in 2021.
Dobbins’ involvement in the passing game would be a welcome sign for Baltimore, as it would allow Lamar Jackson to have another weapon in what has been an underwhelming receiving corps the past few seasons.
Last season, Dobbins (18 catches), Gus Edwards (9 catches) and Mark Ingram (6 catches) combined for just 33 receptions out of the backfield. This is unusually low, as 23 other running backs had more catches than the Ravens’ top three runners alone. In addition, Josh Jacobs, David Johnson and Jerick McKinnon (33 catches each) all matched the Ravens’ top three backs last season.
Having a legitimate threat out of the backfield, especially one with Dobbin's skill set, could completely change how defense’s approach Baltimore this coming season.
While the Ravens missed out on the Julio Jones sweepstakes, Roman clearly is looking for unique ways to get the ball in the hands of his best players in order to maximize Lamar’s ability at quarterback.