Baltimore Ravens fans (and Philip Rivers) have been roasting Greg Roman after a season-worst offensive performance against the Miami Dolphins last week, but tight end Mark Andrews spoke in strong support of his offensive coordinator during yesterday’s press conference.
“He’s an offensive genius,” said Andrews, who was drafted by the the Ravens in 2018 when Roman was the team’s tight ends coach. The former Oklahoma Sooner has thrived since Roman was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2019, racking up 21 touchdowns in the last three seasons, second among all tight ends in that span.
Andrews is on pace to set career-highs in receptions and receiving yards this season–regardless of the added 17th game–with 48 catches for 623 yards through nine games, plus a league-best 89.6 overall tight end grade from Pro Football Focus.
He played well against the Dolphins despite the offense’s struggles as a whole, with six catches for 63 yards, plus a fourth-quarter touchdown that brought the Ravens within one possession.
But he’s still not fully satisfied with his performance, telling media yesterday, “Losing sucks, so it’s all about trying to find the mistakes and correct them.”
Those mistakes aren’t hard to find: communication issues, poor blocking and, most importantly, a complete inability to adjust to the blitz.
But Andrews is confident that Roman can lead the Ravens offense to success against aggressive defenses in the future, saying, “We have full trust in what he’s calling.”
How Will Baltimore Beat the Blitz?
Roman discussed his offense’s collapse against the Dolphins during a press conference today, calling it a “straight to DVD performance,” per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
“We have to coach it better, execute it better,” added Roman, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
However Roman plans to combat heavy blitzes, Andrews will certainly be a big part of the gameplan. He can make plays in any part of the field, and his reliability for quarterback Lamar Jackson over the pair’s four seasons together have made him a weekly focal point of Baltimore’s offense.
The Ravens will need faster starts on offense in order to force defenses away from the blitz.
“If people are going to throw the dice at you, you’ve got to make them pay,” said Roman today, per Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun.
His comments echo that of Andrews’ after Thursday’s game, who said the Ravens need to “make them pay early on.”
Andrews Weighs in on Controversial Call
After two straight punts to open the second half, the Ravens were trying to get something going on offense when Andrews came open on second down. Despite a bobble, Andrews appeared to maintain possession of the ball, and the referees ruled the play a catch. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores challenged the call, which was ultimately overturned.
It’s unclear exactly what the replay team say that made them rule the pass incomplete, but it’s hard to say that the above videos constitute enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.
“I thought I caught that ball. I know it popped up, but I thought it never touched the ground,” said Andrews after the game, joking that the Dolphins didn’t replay the (non-)catch because they knew it was a catch.