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Preston: Ravens' Lamar Jackson gearing up to get outside quarterback help this offseason

It appears rookie Lamar Jackson is making the right moves during the offseason and will be working with instructors who specialize in developing quarterbacks, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Friday.

But Harbaugh isn’t sure if he’ll add a passing game coordinator, a role he thought former offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg might take before Greg Roman replaced him. Roman’s forte is building the running game.

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According to rules of the collective bargaining agreement, NFL coaches are limited in the amount of practice time they can spend with players when the season is not in session. Harbaugh can’t talk about who is tutoring Jackson and isn’t supposed to be involved in the process (wink, wink).

Yet we know that’s not how it works in reality. When a team drafts a quarterback in the first round, I’m sure they have their way of letting him know which guys they want him to work with during the offseason. Harbaugh said Jackson will be working with receivers during their time off, which is something former veteran starter Joe Flacco didn’t do regularly.

Jackson has a strong desire to succeed. His willingness to learn is contagious and that alone will make him a better quarterback. But I’m not sure he’ll ever get to the point where he’ll be a viable threat as a passer in the pocket, especially as far as consistency.

But at least Jackson and the Ravens are taking steps in the right direction. They know last season was an aberration with Jackson rushing 147 times for 695 yards. They have to add to the passing game and cut the number of times Jackson gets hit during the game.

If he rushes the ball as much as he did last season over 16 starts instead of seven, he’ll get hurt. But if the Ravens can balance the offense, it will take a lot of pressure off Jackson and the running game.

“That’s the direction we need to go, from the way our offense is going to be built from the ground up,” Harbaugh said. “We need to start with the running game. Then build in the play-action pass. Then the drop-back pass. Kind of building around our quarterback and what he brings to the table going forward. That’s Lamar Jackson.”

Roman has had success building this type of offense with a dual-threat quarterback, first with as San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator from 2011 through 2014, and then in the same role with the Buffalo Bills from 2015 through 2016.

The 49ers were more balanced and successful than the Bills because Colin Kaepernick was a better quarterback than Tyrod Taylor.

But Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, was also the head coach in San Francisco. Jim Harbaugh can be surly at times, but he has one of the better offensive minds in football.

Are the Ravens taking a gamble by not bringing in a passing game coordinator?

At this point, Harbaugh appears comfortable with Roman but he might change his mind later. He’s still putting together an offensive staff.

“Sometimes we put people in boxes. Greg knows the passing game, too,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see. I am thinking about a lot of things. I’m thinking about where we’re going to go, talking to coaches.”

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