It’s time to get real about expectations for a Ravens rival | You Pod To Win The Game
Yahoo Sports' Charles McDonald, Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein discuss the Baltimore Ravens offense in the wake of Lamar Jackson’s contract extension, the quality of the receiving corps and getting real with expectations for wins in the 2023 season. Hear the full conversation on You Pod To Win The Game. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I don't know if he won or lost. I mean, he did great for himself. I think everybody should be happy. Now I think, really, what matters is, are they surrounding him with enough talent now to maximize this deal? Because that's what you have to do.
They went out and got Zay Flowers. That's great. We added Odell Beckham Jr. That's great. So that's two additional pieces that he has on top of Mark Andrews, JK Dobbins. Are the pieces there for them to hit the ground running with him? Because in any situation like this when you sign a player to this deal, there's no more build. You have to immediately launch yourself into contention. That's the point of signing a deal like this.
We saw the Broncos did it with Russell Wilson. It went horribly. And I would think that the reaction would be just as horrible with Lamar and the Ravens if they do not get off to a fast start and do really well in 2023.
CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah, it's definitely going to be reactionary a little bit. But I don't know. it didn't-- it's not like they really had a choice. And I do think that as far as, like, this Lamar Jackson era goes, it's probably the best collection of receiving talent that they've had. I think they have some questions on the offensive line, particularly, like, if Ronnie Stanley's ever going to get back to being the guy that he was and cleaning up some of the stuff on the right side of the line.
But just, like, from a passing game standpoint, I think the Ravens are in a spot where they can take a pretty big leap this year barring injury. And I kind of like what they've done to set themselves up between paying Lamar Jackson, hiring Todd Monken, getting Odell, drafting Zay Flowers just to be like, hey, we're going to throw the ball a little bit more and we have the asset allocation to prove that.
JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah, I think I both believe that they have much higher upside in terms of the collection of talent they've assembled, but also that it's not going to get off the ground right away. I think with that much change coming in, like, when are they going to establish a rhythm? They're also playing in a difficult division, in a difficult conference. And so I'm wondering, yeah, new-- right, new coordinator, new talent.
Lamar, obviously, has to-- I mean, I'm not saying he hasn't been working out or staying in shape, but there obviously has been multiple focuses for him over the last few months. And he's going to now focus back pretty much entirely on football. And so I think that there will be a little bit of a climb because as much as he'll have the best talent around him, will he also have one of the most difficult collections of competition that he's going up against in the AFC?
Like, I definitely don't think they're AFC contenders right now. I don't even know that they're-- I mean, even in their own division, I feel like the Bengals are pretty far ahead of them. The Steelers did some really good things this week. We'll get to them. You still have Deshaun Watson in the division. I mean, there's just so much they're going up against. So while I think it's going to be exciting and that they'll take a big leap, I don't think it's going to be easy by any means.
CHARLES ROBINSON: He better hit 10 wins. I just-- I'm sorry. You pay you pay a quarterback that much, I think you should be expected to be a double-digit win team, especially in a 17-game season. You damn well better hit that 10 win mark. If you don't, I feel like something else failed on that roster, or Lamar didn't play the way you expected him to, or some moves didn't pan out.