Chiefs coach Andy Reid says Ravens have ‘opened the gate’ for quarterback Lamar Jackson
By Daniel Oyefusi
Sep 18, 2019 | 4:00 PM
Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks about playing the Kansas City Chiefs, a team that has coaches he's familiar with.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson has shown tremendous improvement as a passer two games into the season, and Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid thinks part of that is a result of what the team is asking of him.
“It’s wide open," Reid said Wednesday in a conference call with local reporters. "The coordinators and the quarterbacks coach, they’ve opened the gate for him. They’re doing a million different things and he’s doing it well and looks like he’s loving doing it. ... I think he has a full grasp of the offense and there’s just a certain comfort when you play in it, like he has, that you get and I think you can see that in his play.”
Last season, Jackson made the second road start of his career — and fourth start overall — at Kansas City, a 27-24 overtime loss. Jackson completed 13 of 24 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns but said he never quite got in-sync with his receivers after taking over as the team’s starter late last season.
“I was thrown in Week 11. I didn’t really have chemistry with those guys,” Jackson said. “They were with [Joe] Flacco the whole time and I was with the other guys. ... We came out with victories, but this year, I had an offseason. [I] got with my guys, worked very hard through the grind, OTAs, we got better, and it’s just showing up on Sundays."
Humphrey takes blame for busted coverages
The Ravens struggled in pass coverage during Sunday’s 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, giving up seven plays of 20 yards or more through the air. Coach John Harbaugh on Monday said that many of those big plays were because of a lack of communication in the secondary, which led to lapses in zone coverage.
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey on Wednesday accepted responsibility for multiple breakdowns in coverage.
“A lot of those were on me this past week,” Humphrey said. “I had a couple busts there that he was just so open, it looked like it was the safety’s fault, but a few of those were on me. Definitely [going to] clean that up, watch it on film and get it corrected this week because Kansas City is really good, but when you give them the big play, they turn from good to great.”
Harbaugh, Reid prepare for fifth matchup
Sunday’s matchup with the Chiefs will mark the fifth time Ravens coach John Harbaugh has gone head-to-head with Chiefs coach and mentor Andy Reid.
Harbaugh spent nine seasons working under Reid as a special teams coordinator and secondary coach before being hired as Ravens coach in 2008.
Harbaugh is 1-3 against Reid, with his lone victory coming in their first meeting in 2008. He joked about “matching wits” with his mentor but then more sternly answered, “It’s been great to play him over the years. We haven’t won enough of them.”
“[Harbaugh has] done a heck of a job," Reid said. "It’s so unique how he and [former general manager Ozzie Newsome] and the whole group there have been able to retool and bring new people in and everybody excels. So you know you’re in for a well-coached football team that’s going to be physical.”
>>Chiefs starting left tackle Eric Fisher will undergo core muscle surgery and miss Sunday’s game against the Ravens, Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder announced. Fourth-year player Cameron Erving, who has started 34 games in his career, is expected to start in place of Fisher.
>>Jackson might be slightly superstitious when it comes to his interceptions. He has yet to throw an interception this season and hasn’t thrown one in a regular-season game since Week 12 last season against the Oakland Raiders.
Jackson was asked about his lack of turnovers by a reporter and interjected, exclaiming, “Now you’re going to jinx me! You’re not supposed to say anything about it!”
>>Former Ravens offensive tackle Greg Senat was claimed off waivers by the Chiefs on Tuesday, but Harbaugh said he isn’t worried about Senat giving any intel to this week’s opponent.
“Players know what they know in their world, in their realm,” Harbaugh said. “They’re might be some subtle things but on the list of concerns playing the Chiefs this week, I’d said that is toward the bottom.”
>>The Ravens signed tight end Cole Herdman to the practice squad, the team announced Wednesday. Herdman spent training camp with the team and was released as part of the 53-man roster cutdown. In a corresponding move, the team placed running back Mark Thompson on the practice squad/injured list.
>>Five Ravens did not practice Wednesday: Tight end Mark Andrews (foot), defensive lineman-fullback Pat Ricard (back), cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) and safeties Earl Thomas (non-injury related) and Brynden Trawick (elbow).