Raven’s New Offense Shines


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This offseason, John Harbaugh wanted to not only revamp the team’s offensive system, but to recreate it.

Using new methodology, they streamlined the play calling so every word conveys a message — some plays are only one word, kinda like video games. It flies in the face of the NFL’s long standing belief that being complex, including verbiage, was a necessary evil. Not only that, its base design utilizes the pistol and shotgun formations instead of under center.

We may have seen it before

It’s similar to what’s been used in the college ranks for several years now. Most notably given the Ravens’ recent draft, was Penn State’s use of the system to set school records with current New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley and their own third string quarterback, Trace McSorley.

While it’s different than what he ran at Penn State, the similarities are apparent and it’ll allow their starter, Lamar Jackson, to maximize his athleticism. Against the Dolphins, he did just that for a career day and the Dolphins never knew what hit them. While it won’t take long for other teams to dissect the system and work on ways to stop it, it’s the cutting edge that we’ve come to expect over the decades.

Every so often, either through necessity or efficiency, someone takes what’s been working, tweaks it, and creates a more fluid and efficient system. From the forward pass and passing pocket to the K-Gun and Run ‘n Shoot, each innovation changes and improves the game for the players and the fans. It helps those struggling to become top tier talent and top tier talent to become legendary. The fans get to enjoy a new visual stimulation that’s confounding in its simplicity and exciting in its execution.

While it’s too early to see how this latest experiment will work out, it has the potential to be the next big thing. The NFL is a copycat league, so it won’t take long before other teams start to emulate the Ravens’ system to some degree.

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