But there’s also a familiar face among all that restructuring.
Tee Martin, who spent the past two seasons as Baltimore’s wide receivers coach, was named quarterbacks coach in February, taking over for James Urban.
For Martin, it’s a return to his natural position — he quarterbacked Tennessee to a national championship in 1998. But with it also comes a certain degree of scrutiny as he tries to help Jackson return to the form that earned the quarterback the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 2019.
“You’re coaching a quarterback who’s different than a lot of ... other quarterbacks,” Martin said last week during voluntary organized team activities, which conclude this week in Owings Mills before mandatory minicamp begins next Tuesday. “[It’s] very similar to how I played, but way better.”
While Urban, who had worked with Jackson since his rookie year in 2018 and is now a senior football analyst with the team, was the position coach, the quarterback hasn’t come close to matching the output he had during that dazzling 2019 season. After throwing for 3,127 yards, an NFL-best 36 touchdowns and rushing for 1,206 yards and seven more scores in 2019, Jackson’s numbers have since dropped off.
Some of that could be explained by injuries — Jackson has missed 11 games over the past two seasonsSome of it could be attributed to the lack of playmakers around the quarterback, especially at wide receiver. And some of it could be excused away because of former coordinator Greg Roman’s proclivity for a run-heavy offense.
But that was then.
Now, Jackson, who signed a five-year extension worth a reported $260 million last month that makes him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL per year, has a coordinator in Todd Monken who has preached a more up-tempo pace with more passing and less running. He also has receivers Odell Beckham Jr., rookie Zay Flowers and veteran Nelson Agholor (along with the return of a healthy Rashod Bateman and tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely).
Then there’s Martin.
He came to Baltimore after eight years at Southern California and two more at his alma mater. Along the way, he helped develop several future NFL receivers. As wide receivers coach the last two seasons for the Ravens, though, the group struggled, finishing last in the league in receiving yards this past season. But Martin was hardly the one to blame. Last offseason, the Ravens traded their most productive receiver, Marquise Brown, while Bateman, a 2021 first-round pick, has played just 18 games his first two seasons as he’s battled injuries.
Martin, 44, was also a candidate for the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator job this offseason, if there was any question about his ability.
“Tee is a quarterback guy,” Harbaugh said in March. “He played the position, studies the position, and I can tell you this: When we interviewed him for it, he blew us out of the water with it.”
Now it’ll be up to Martin to do the same to Jackson.
Though it’s early in the offseason, Jackson has liked what he has seen out of Monken’s new offense and in turn Martin. Through the first two weeks of the media viewing portions of voluntary organized team activities, there has been a healthy dose of run-pass options, screens, routes out of the backfield and occasional deep throws.
There is an emphasis on being more dynamic — and on giving Jackson more control.
Baltimore Ravens Insider
“Coach [Monken] is basically just giving us the keys to the offense,” Jackson said last month. “You can change things when you want to. You see the defense, [and if] it’s not looking right to you, you see a guy blitzing, [or] you might want your receiver to do something different, Coach has given you the free will to do whatever you want to.”
Still, there’s a long way to go and still a lot to learn for Jackson. The responsibility of getting the quarterback where he needs to be will fall on Martin.
Jackson has looked inconsistent so far, but it’s only June.
“The first thing is the new system and the way we do things in the new system — the drop footwork, the play action footwork, where our eyes go, progressions, reads, the type of accuracy we have to have, anticipation, ball location, things of that nature,” Martin said.
Even if Martin didn’t play the game at the same level that Jackson has — he appeared in just three games across two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders — having someone who played the position helps.
“I think there’s a comfort level with that, and when I say something to him or suggest something, it goes a little bit further,” Martin said. “The comfort level is there, and the trust is there.”
All that’s left are the results.