Unlike his predecessor, Jackson has gotten together with his receivers in Florida for extra throwing sessions. Jackson recently posted a pic on Instagram of him tossing the ball with Jordan Lasley that included the caption: “They can keep Tweeting. We working."
Team officials and fans alike long wanted Flacco to round up his teammates and set up private workouts. But Flacco did so only twice in his 11-year run in Baltimore.
It’s really unknown how much these additional passes in February and March have helped young quarterbacks. The Ravens just know it can’t hurt Jackson, whose development as a passer is considered the biggest key for Baltimore this season.
"I know he’s throwing quite a bit,” coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings. "I think he’ll ramp that up even more as he gets closer.”
Teams are restricted to talk about football with players or engage in any football-related activities with them until April 15 because of the collective bargaining agreement. So, for the Ravens, they can’t give Jackson a playbook or break down film with him for the 97 days from the end of the season to the start of the team’s offseason conditioning program.
Harbaugh has been a strong proponent on revising these rules, especially for younger players. He sees this as hindering players’ development, especially when you’re dealing with the quarterback position.
"You can see when an offense is clicking,” Harbaugh said. "I think that the fans, they want offenses to be efficient and well-coached and developed, and they don’t want to see players that aren’t fully developed playing. That’s important, I think, for that to be gotten right in the CBA.”
Where Jackson is expected to make his biggest strides is in the spring workouts and training camp. With Flacco traded to the Denver Broncos, Jackson will take all of the first-team snaps in practice.
But Jackson’s practices will be different than other starting quarterbacks around the league.
“He’ll be working extra on little things that a veteran quarterback wouldn’t have to do,” Harbaugh said. “Drew Brees doesn’t have to make certain throws. He’s made them thousands and thousands of times. Lamar’s going to have to replicate throws and ballhandling a lot. And that will be in drills. A young quarterback needs to work harder at the fundamentals than a more veteran quarterback does. He’s developing the fundamentals still.”
The Ravens have shown no concern about Jackson’s offseason even though his progression is so critical to the team’s success. Team officials have praised Jackson’s work ethic, and Harbaugh has referred to Jackson as a “gym rat.” Along with throwing to his receivers, Jackson has worked with quarterback trainer Joshua Harris, who helped Jackson leading up to the draft.
Jackson’s only misstep was putting up a video on Instagram earlier this month that showed him driving at 105 mph. He later apologized for the “bad decision."
Harbaugh said the matter was addressed internally.
"He and I had a conversation, and he fully understands, completely understands what a mistake that is -- a judgment error for a young guy,” Harbaugh said. "I don’t expect it to happen again.”