The Baltimore Ravens have one of the most exciting offensive players in the NFL with quarterback and 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson. While Jackson is an exceptional talent, especially with his legs, the team's reception numbers in 2020 weren't good. In fact, they were last dead.
With the official 2020 NFL season in the rearview mirror, the Ravens are looking to 2021 and focusing on potential areas for improvement. Over the weekend, head coach John Harbaugh announced the addition of a new member to the coaching team that should inspire Raven's fans and Jackson for the next season's passing game.
Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson had the worst NFL reception numbers in 2020
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The mention of Lamar Jackson immediately triggers thoughts of instant insult. It is true that Jackson plays like he's in a video game, making moves and evading defenders who make Barry Sanders smile. While Jackson's legs are undoubtedly a huge asset, in 2020 his arm wasn't as productive as it needs to be to achieve a high level success, and this is in large part due to a poor reception corps.
That season, the Baltimore Ravens haven't had a single recipient to break the 1,000-yard mark. It wasn't even close. Baltimore's best recipient was Marquise Brown, who finished the season with 58 catches for 769 yards and eight touchdowns. Jackson's next favorite target was Mark Andrews, who also made 58 catches for 701 yards and seven touchdowns.
As a group, Baltimore receivers finished the NFL worst numbers in total receipts (257), receiving yards (2,919) and yards per game (182.4). The New York Jets were the second worst in these categories, finishing the season on a 2-14 record.
Baltimore Ravens help Lamar Jackson hire Tee Martin
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As the NFL teams officially shifted focus to planning for the 2021 season this weekend, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced several new additions to the coaching staff, including one of the most notable wide-angle coaches, Tee Martin.
Martin is a household name for college soccer fans as he was the backup behind Peyton Manning at the University of Tennessee in the mid to late 1990s. However, Martin achieved something Manning could not achieve as he and Jamal Lewis led the volunteers' offensive assault to the 1998 national championship over the state of Florida.
After the 1999 season, Martin played professionally for five seasons between different teams in the NFL, NFL Europe and Canada. In 2006 he retired from the game and turned to coaching.
Martin created top NFL receivers
SOURCE: Former Vols Game Coordinator Tee Martin has agreed to become Ravens' new WR coach. The former USC OC / WR trainer developed JuJu Smith-Schuster, Nelson Agholor, Marqise Lee, Robert Woods and Randall Cobb, among others. @ Jeffzrebiec reported the move first.
– Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 6, 2021
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While Tee Martin's professional playing career hasn't been inspiring, what he's achieved as a coach since retirement has been impressive. Before joining the Ravens, Martin spent the last two seasons with his alma mater as deputy head coach and wide-angle receiver coach.
Before joining the Vols, Martin was an assistant coach at USC, where he started as a wide receiver coach in 2012. In 2016 Martin was promoted to Offensive Coordinator. The offense ended in 2017 as the nation's No. 13 Unit, won the Pac-12 title, and earned a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
While Tee Martin was with the Trojans, he was best known for his work developing some of college football's best receivers, all of whom did pretty well in the NFL, including JuJu Smith-Schuster, Nelson Agholor, and Robert Woods. Martin also helped develop Randall Cobb while training in Kentucky.
In addition to his professional work with receivers, Martin has made his own son Amari Rodgers a top prospect for the upcoming design. Last season Rodgers took 77 catches for 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns for the Clemson Tigers.
If the Baltimore Ravens are hoping to take their game to the next level and get a deep run in the 2021 NFL playoffs, the offensive unit must rely more on Lamar Jackson's arm than his legs. With the latest addition from Tee Martin, the organization has taken a big step in the right direction.
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