Four takeaways from coach John Harbaugh’s press conference originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
A day after the Ravens’ 38-6 thrashing of the Browns to open the season, coach John Harbaugh took to the podium, virtually, to talk about the dominating win.
Here are a few topics of note from the press conference:
Lamar outstanding again
Lamar Jackson started off his second full season as a starter with authority in a 20-for-25 performance against a depleted Browns secondary. He threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 152.1. He also led the team in rushing with 45 yards.
“I thought he just showed great poise in the pocket the whole game,” Harbaugh said. “He had great awareness of the rush, they were bringing it, they have really good pass-rushers. They mixed up their coverages, man, zone, different types of zone coverages and he had just a great feel for it. Lamar played an excellent game and the passing game, the drop-back passing game was really the main part of that.”
Jackson was pinpoint with his passes downfield, routinely dropping passes right where they needed to be — specifically to Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
After one week, Jackson looks ready for another big year.
If there was any cause for concern amongst Ravens fans about Jackson, it was the fact that he was in the game in the fourth quarter with the score no longer in doubt.
Harbaugh has no such concerns.
“It’s the National Football League," he said. "You look around the league, you’ll see not too many people are taking their quarterbacks out with 10 minutes left in the game in the National Football League, and that’s historically true. There’s a lot of reasons for that. I don’t think I have to get into all the reasons for that. All the people that want to say that should be done, I’d have to disagree with that.”
Jackson, who has been remarkably healthy for his entire NFL career, played in 15 games last season. In fact, he’s barely missed any practices in his NFL career.
In the fourth quarter against the Browns, Jackson was running toward the end zone and lowered his head to try and gain extra yards. When asked if he’d like Jackson to step out of bounds, Harbaugh reaffirmed their stance.
“I’m not going to worry about it,” Harbaugh said. “Lamar does a great job, he knows how to play. If you watch the play, who took the hit on that play?...It wasn’t Lamar. We’re not looking for Lamar to take big hits, or lower his head and try to run people over or anything like that. That’s not something we practice. Lamar does a great job of protecting people. Every player out there is in a situation where you’re at risk.”
Harbaugh, who isn’t a fan of the notion the Ravens aren’t doing enough, or need to be doing more, to protect Jackson, put him on the bench in numerous games last season.
In four of his 15 games, Jackson didn’t play 100 snaps. Sunday against the Browns, backup Robert Griffin III played six snaps.
“It’s just a criticism that you can keep asking about, and I’m going to keep telling you the same thing,” Harbaugh said. “If you study football, and you look at what other teams do, people don’t do that and there’s a reason for it. Take a look at Seattle with Russell Wilson. What were they up by? When did Russell come out? I would encourage you to do your homework on that.”
The Ravens left Sunday’s game very healthy, with the exception of left tackle Ronnie Stanley.
Stanley left the game with an ankle injury after playing 35 snaps (59 percent) and didn’t return. For now, the Ravens appear to have their left tackle ready to go for Sunday’s game in Houston.
“Do not have an update on Ronnie Stanley yet, don’t think it’s anything, I haven't been told anything serious,” Harbaugh said. “They’re working on him down in the training room. I’d say Wednesday we’ll have a pretty good idea but I expect him to be out there practicing Wednesday. That’s my expectation at this point.”
One Ravens lineman who made his return was Matt Skura, who started at center less than a year after a devastating knee injury against the Rams.
He tore his ACL, MCL and PCL and also dislocated his kneecap on Nov. 25, 2019, and Harbaugh was frank when asked whether or not he thought a return so quick was likely for Skura.
“I’d say no, I didn’t think there was any chance he’d be able to go in Week 1, in all honesty,” Harbaugh said. “I thought he’d be a PUP, come back after six weeks at the earliest type of a guy situation. That would’ve been excellent. For him to be back playing in the opener is a tribute to our trainers and the doctors that did the surgery, just the whole thing. His wife for putting up with him.”
Playing alongside Bradley Bozeman and rookie Tyre Phillips in his first game back, Skura played in 49 snaps.
“And he played a good, solid game and he’s only going to get better from here,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think physically he’s 100 percent yet either, but he played still a winning football game. Very proud of him for that.”