Greg Roman’s final year in Baltimore convinced him to step back from the NFL.
Roman will spend 2023 out of football. He revealed his plans in a piece he wrote for The 33rd Team, in which the 2019 Assistant Coach of the Year detailed his experiences coaching Lamar Jackson in Baltimore.
Roman’s insight on Jackson’s abilities fell in line with what most have seen from the dynamic, game-changing quarterback: His ability to create while on the move makes him a constant, terrifying threat for opposing defenses. It’s also not what caused Jackson’s injuries in the last two seasons.
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“Jackson was such a master of avoiding hits, and honestly, he was safest when he was out in space on the move because he was in control as opposed to in the pocket with his eyes downfield, hoping somebody doesn’t run into the back of his legs,” Roman explained. “The few times he got injured were behind the line of scrimmage, looking to make a throw down the field.”
As Roman said, contrary to popular belief, Jackson’s injury concerns weren’t “an issue when he was running out in space.” In those moments, Jackson knew how to prevent himself from taking significant hits that could threaten his availability.
As Jackson awaits his next step in his career, he’s remained a hot topic in the NFL news cycle. Many have wondered whether his playing style will impact his market value. But as Roman said, it’s not a concern — it’s a strength.
He knows from his own firsthand experience.
“If you have a quarterback with certain skills, you’ve got to tap into their strengths, and you’ve got to mine for gold there and have convictions,” Roman wrote. “When you’re doing something different, half the fans aren’t even going to understand it because that’s not what they’re used to. You know that going in, but you’ve got to have the strength of conviction and courage to forge ahead with it.
“The elite pocket passer will always be valued. At some point, you’ve got to stand in the pocket, throw the ball and deliver it to win consistently. How much you have to do that will change, but there’s no doubt the opportunity exists for mobile quarterbacks because NFL decision-makers have seen it work.”
Although it eventually grew somewhat stale, Roman’s approach produced remarkable numbers and a winning percentage (.738) Roman wasn’t afraid to tout in his piece. Roman will watch Jackson’s next coach — be it new Ravens coordinator Todd Monken or another staff elsewhere — attempt to capitalize on Jackson’s strengths.
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