Ravens tinkering with Lamar Jackson in two-QB sets

Joe Flacco remains the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback for now, which has induced the coaching staff to look for ways to use first-round pick Lamar Jackson.

Coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday the Ravens have been tinkering with two-quarterback sets in order to get the dual-threat rookie QB on the field.

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," Harbaugh said of Jackson, via ESPN.com. "If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

The usage of Jackson outside of simply being the backup quarterback is notable after the hullabaloo during the draft process about some scouts wanting the Louisville product to change positions. Baltimore using Jackson in two-QB sets is not a precursor to a position change -- he hasn't worked with any other position group -- but rather the Ravens admitting he's one of their best 11 offensive players and attempting to utilize an outrageous talent.

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said of the two-QB sets. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."

For an offense that far too often was frustratingly mundane and predictable the past several seasons, injecting the genuine excitement Jackson brings to the table can only be good. If the worst thing that happens is that Marty Mornhinweg's brain awakens, Ravens fans should be ecstatic.

Harbaugh noted he expects Jackson to be active on game days. The admission gives the rookie a massive leg up in his battle with Robert Griffin III for the backup quarterback gig.

Offseason workouts like minicamp are the ideal incubation time to tinker with things like two-quarterback sets in the safety of non-contact practices. Ravens defensive players have been impressed with Jackson's usage thus far.

"It's very creative," linebacker C.J. Mosley said. "We don't really know it's going to work until we put it out there. It's been giving us some problems on some of the plays. It's cool just to see the way we can switch things up with quarterbacks."

Getting Jackson on the field in a limited package is a precursor to the QB eventually taking over. Whether that's this season or down the road remains to be seen, but Jackson's talent is overwhelmingly obvious.

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick." Mosley said of Jackson. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel...

"It's fun to watch him. It's good to see him out there making plays and being comfortable."

If Flacco falters for an elongated stretch this season, the calls for Jackson to take the reins for a playoff contender will become exceedingly loud. Giving the rookie his own package of plays is preparing for such an eventuality.

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