• The Baltimore Ravens flexed what they have been working on this offseason
  • Lamar Jackson and Rashod Bateman are set to have a fruitful season together
  • Rookie Isaiah Likely has the makings of the next great Ravens tight end

The Baltimore Ravens recently had their open training camp at their home field of M&T Bank Stadium, and fans were treated to their first glimpse of a team that had a disappointing 2020-21 NFL season.

Here are three of the biggest observations from the event.

Flashes Of Improved Passing Game

The biggest criticism of the Ravens in recent years has been the offense’s penchant to run the ball instead of working on their passing game, despite having the second unanimous NFL MVP Lamar Jackson as their star quarterback.

However, all of that could be changing once the season starts.

During the live-streamed training camp, Jackson was not hesitant at all to show off his arm and go for big yards when the opportunity comes.

There will surely be games wherein they would lean in heavily to their run game, but if they want to prove that they belong among the NFL’s elite squads, offensive coordinator Greg Roman has to start trusting in Jackson, the receivers and their tight ends even more.

The major problem for the Ravens has been their dependency on the tight ends, particularly Mark Andrews, to move the chains, and how Roman integrates his receivers more will be a storyline to watch throughout the season.

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens
Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens rolls out to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rashod Bateman Out To Prove His Worth

Rashod Bateman has been on a warpath to showcase to the team and their fans that he deserves to be the No. 1 receiver.

Last season, the wide receiver out of Minnesota was behind veterans Sammy Watkins, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Miles Boykin on the depth chart for understandable reasons.

The Ravens used their 27th overall pick in the 2021 draft to take Bateman, and expectations for his second season are extremely high as all three have left the Ravens this offseason.

Bateman’s name is now in the limelight as he will be their main receiver for the upcoming season.

The Tifton, Georgia-born receiver caught a wonderful bomb from Jackson during live training camp and it is a sight that most Ravens fans are hopeful to see as soon as Week 1.

Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens
Rashod Bateman #12 of the Baltimore Ravens takes the field prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium on November 07, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

Isaiah Likely Could Be Franchise’s Next Great Tight End

Developing tight ends has been the Ravens’ calling card for the better part of their recent history and they have just the guy who could be next to take that mantle in 2022 fourth-round pick Isaiah Likely.

Standing at 6’4” and at 235 pounds, Likely still has quite a few ways to go to becoming just that.

For comparison, the Ravens’ top tight end in Andrews is virtually identical in terms of height with Likely, but the weight difference (256 pounds for Andrews) is something they need to work on over the course of the season.

Tight ends are expected to do two things: block like an offensive lineman and run short and medium routes.

Andrews has done both jobs spectacularly well, but Likely still needs a lot more reps to do the first one.

Likely has zero problems when it comes to running routes and has already garnered praise from Jackson when it comes to making plays.

Going into the season, it is expected that Likely will take a few snaps as the main target of Jackson, but he will need to rapidly put on weight in order to fulfill his role as a blocker.

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore Ravens
Isaiah Likely #TE12 of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers speaks to reporters during the NFL Draft Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on March 2, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michael Hickey/Getty Images