Ravens owner: QB Jackson will run less in 2019

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Wednesday night that the vision of the organization is to build the team around Lamar Jackson and to decrease the rushing attempts for its young franchise quarterback.

In an hourlong conference call with season-ticket holders, Bisciotti was asked several questions about Jackson, including any concern over increased risk of injury. Last season, Jackson set the NFL record for quarterbacks by running 147 times, surpassing Bobby Douglass (who had 141 in 1972).

"I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that Lamar is not going to be running 20 times a game," Bisciotti said in his first public comments in more than a year. "That's not what this offense is about."

When Jackson took over for Joe Flacco around midseason, he won six of seven starts to lead the Ravens to their first AFC North title since 2012. He also averaged 17 carries per game.

Bisciotti said Jackson's high number of rush attempts were a factor of Baltimore doing whatever it took to get to the postseason for the first time in four years. The Ravens spent this offseason tailoring the offense around Jackson's unique skill set, and Bisciotti expects a significant amount of growth from the No. 32 overall pick in last year's draft.

"Everything falls to Lamar," Bisciotti said. "We believe in him. We believe he's going to be great. He desires to be great. We will continue to build the team around his strengths, and he'll continue to work on his weaknesses."

The Ravens' priority this offseason was to surround Jackson with playmakers. Baltimore signed two-time Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram II in free agency and selected two of the draft's quickest wide receivers and the fastest running back in the first four rounds.

"We realized as much as anybody else did that we had 11 eyes on Lamar at the end of the year," Bisciotti said. "I think they were focused on him, and in order to make him grow, we had to put some speed around him."

Here are other topics Bisciotti addressed:

  • The buzz around the Cleveland Browns: "I think that Cleveland has a lot going for them. On paper, they're certainly a lot better team. We're going to have our hands full. Who knows? If they're that much better, maybe they'll start beating Pittsburgh. We only have to play them twice a year. It'll be interesting to see how quickly they develop into the kind of team that some people think they are."

  • Free-agent defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, who visited the Ravens over the past two days: "I think everybody out there has seen what he can do. I think he's a bit of a game-wrecker. In this day and age, you need that kind of pressure from the inside."

  • The possibility of Baltimore hosting the NFL draft: "I would love to look into it. In order for us to consider it, we will have to get the NFL down here and find out what kind of venues they're looking for. If it's something our fans would want ... I would absolutely love it. I think we have a better chance of getting that than the Super Bowl."