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Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Banner Ravens Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR
The Truth Network Radio
March 12, 2024 9:16 pm

Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Banner Ravens Reporter

JR Sports Brief / JR

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March 12, 2024 9:16 pm

Jonas Shaffer joined JR to discuss the Ravens acquiring Derrick Henry and how close this team is to breaking through to make a Super Bowl. 

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That's BetterHelp H-E-L-P dot com slash grow. This is Tony Kornheiser's show. I'm Tony.

You expected someone else? So what exactly is the show about? I don't know. It's a sports show nominally. Football's over, but we're finally at a point where things matter in college basketball and baseball season is on deck. Greatest three words in the English language, pitchers and catchers.

We have some of the best voices come on and explain what matters and what makes an upset like Ryan does. Nine over eight. No, that's not an upset. No.

Yeah, it is, Bob. And if you're lucky, I might just tell you about my search for discounted sleep pants or my worries about what my dog just ate. Listen on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Jonas, thank you for taking the time to hop on.

Thank you. Appreciate you having me. No doubt about it. We know that Derrick Henry, future Hall of Fame running back, doesn't matter how much gas he has left in the tank, unless he is completely done. He's an added bonus to this team. What are your thoughts on the addition of Derrick Henry? Yeah, I mean, if they get the 2023 version of Derrick Henry, it's an extremely exciting prospect. This is, you know, a nightmare fuel background with, a nightmare fuel backfield, excuse me, with Lamar and Derrick Henry. It's really just putting defenses in a bind, because if you load the box, then Lamar will have one-on-ones down field with, you know, Rashad Bateman, Mark Andrews, Zay Flowers. If you don't load the box, we're talking about, you know, six or seven defenders having to cover Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry, and maybe Heat Mitchell is there in the backfield with them.

So it's a really, really tantalizing prospect for what the Ravens could be. I think Lamar has played with running backs like Derrick Henry before, you know, Gus Edwards at his peak, you know, has been the kind of smash mouth, run you over running back that I think a lot of teams need and would like to have, but I don't think Derrick Henry has ever played with a quarterback like Lamar before. I think that's what's most exciting about this is, you know, how does having someone with Lamar's gravitational pull open up, you know, avenues for Derrick Henry that he's never had? How does it, you know, unlock levels and layers of his game that he's never unlocked before? And, you know, you hope that Derrick Henry is healthy for all 16, 17 games next year, because, you know, with a potentially reduced workload, you know, with eyes on keeping him fresh in the playoffs, it could be a really, really thrilling season with incredible productivity.

Definitely beneficial for everybody involved. Jonah Shaffer is here with us from the Baltimore Banner. You talked about the weapons at Lamar Jackson's disposal. You know, Mark Andrews coming off of his injury. Tom Marv should do him well. Zay Flowers, an additional year in the league.

What can we expect? We know things didn't end all that well for Lamar Jackson at the end of the year in the AFC Championship game. When it's time to air the ball out, who is his most reliable option not named Mark Andrews in the middle?

I think it's probably Zay Flowers. You know, he was, he got open a lot as a rookie. He was, I think, like the guy in terms of just how often Lamar looked for him on that first read. You know, I think Rashad Bateman on another team with another quarterback, maybe another play caller, probably fares better than the, you know, few hundred yards that he did.

I did a film study a couple weeks ago, a month ago or so, and he got open a lot. He just either did not get the ball thrown to him or when he did get the ball thrown to him, it was not all that accurate. It just kind of won those seasons. So you're talking about, I don't know if the Ravens are heading back toward maybe more 12th personnel, where you want to get Mark Andrews and Isaiah Leakey and Bateman and Flowers all in the field together with Derrick Henry, or maybe you, you know, kind of do what you did last year and use a lot more 11th personnel so you do have those lighter boxes to run into. But the Ravens have versatility, they have, you know, optionality. And I think that's probably what's most exciting for Todd Monken is that from week to week drive to drive, this offense could do, you know, just about whatever he needed to, to be in a position to succeed. Well, Jonas, we know about the offense, and you take a look at the defense, they've invested money into acquiring Roquan Smith, they just gave Amatabekia an extension.

And now we see that Queen is going to the enemy, he's going to be playing for the Steelers. What does this mean for this defense for the Ravens, which has typically been in the top five the past several years? Yeah, it's a substantial loss, you know, if Jadet being clowny and Kyle Van Nooy don't come back, you're talking about potentially losing, you know, as much as like 50, 55, or see, like, you know, 40, 45% of last year's defensive snaps, because, you know, Stone is gone, you know, Ronald Darby is gone. There are a lot of, you know, players who they really relied upon who were gone. Obviously, you know, you hope that someone like Marcus Williams can finally stay healthy and that Marlon Humphrey can get back to his all pro form. Because if if those guys do, you're talking about like another two potential pro bowl or all pro level performers on this defense. And, you know, we know that the spine of this group should be really, really good with Matta Piquet, with Broquan, with Kyle Hamilton, you know, probably leveling up even further in year three, but they're going to need some pass rest production.

We don't know exactly where that's coming from, for sure. We don't know how reliable that cornerback depth is besides Merle Humphrey and Brandon Stevens. We also don't know, you know, just how good a job Zach Orr is going to do in replacing Mike McDonald, you know, Mike McDonald, probably one of the best defense coordinators in the NFL these past two years. And Zach Orr is a guy who has never called plays before at any level. So there is going to be that learning curve.

There probably going to be some bumps and bruises along the way. So it's natural to expect regression from this group. You know, once you're one of the NFL's best defenses in recent memory, I think probably the only way to go is down. But there's still a lot of ways that this defense wasn't totally optimized last year that maybe with better luck, you know, some natural positive regression, they can do things a little bit differently, and perhaps more effectively.

Jonah Shaffer is here with us from the Baltimore banners, the JR Sport Reshow on CBS Sports Radio. We know that they're not going to have the benefit of selecting high in the draft. That's what happens when you're a good team. Where do you think that they're going to target when they they come to the end of that first round in that 30 spot? You know, it's cliche to whenever you mention the Ravens in the draft, just say best player available.

But I'm going to go with best player available. And I think that that works in their favor because you hear all these draft experts talk about what are the strengths of this particular draft class. And it's the wide receiver position. And it's the offensive line group. And the Ravens, you know, are probably going to lose to their two starting guards from from what was a very good offensive line last year.

And they might lose it if they don't lose them in free agency at salary cap casualties. You know, they're they're they're two starting tackles over the next year. You know, Morgan Moses is a pending free agent.

Ronnie Stanley hasn't lived up to that big contract. So I think it would make sense for them to find a guy who could be a guard in year one, and potentially move out to tackle in year two, you know, someone like Tyler Guyton. You know, I don't think Troy thought I knew from Washington would be available for them at 30.

But if he did, that's the kind of guy that I think you run the pick in. And the wide receiver, you know, I think they need to look to replenishing the depth there as a four hours is the only guy who they have under contract beyond this year, because I would imagine they probably don't exercise that fifth year option or shot Bateman. So, you know, whether it's a lad McConkey in Adani Mitchell, Keyon Coleman, there should be, you know, at least one or two really good receiver prospects at that number 30 spot. And even if they trade out of the first round, they should still probably find some guys they really like, potentially as an extra receiver in the early second round. So I think they're well set up to make a quality addition, ideally to that offense.

But honestly, nothing would surprise me. I didn't expect him to pick Collin Hamilton when they did. And that's looked like one of the best picks of the draft in recent memory. Well, Jonas, you talk about the talent up and down this roster. We know Derrick Henry is the latest addition.

Patrick Queen is gone. What is the overall vibe or attitude that you've kind of garnered from from Ravens fans about what things have been so far this week? You know, I think the biggest, I guess, irony of the Derrick Henry signing is it has inevitably brought back this, you know, kind of line of acidic thinking that, well, now finally we'll have a running back who you can't ignore in the playoffs because everyone is still shaken up. Everyone is still scarred by that Ravens loss to the Chiefs. So, you know, that was obviously Kansas City turned that run defense around just in time for the playoffs. But over the year, over the course of this past season, it was not a good run defense to Kansas City and the Ravens after some initial, you know, stumbles and only occasional breakthroughs basically gave up on the ground game.

I think they had 11 carries total, six for running backs, you know, got that or is basically ignored in that second half. So with this arrival of Derrick Henry and, you know, rounding out what should be a very fun to watch offense, I think there's probably some anticipation for we have we have this offense that, like I said earlier, can do whatever it wants against whoever faces and maybe now we have this, you know, alien who's, you know, more than enough to help Lamar finally take down national homes in the AFC. Obviously, the Chiefs are reloading themselves and, you know, bringing back Chris Jones and probably get a nice haul for the area's need. But the Ravens go out to slay that that beast in the AFC West and they're going to need as much help as they can because it has just been such an impossibility for not just the Ravens, but pretty much every other team in the AFC.

Well, that was going to be my next and last question for you, Jonas. When you take a look at just the AFC North, forget about the Kansas City Chiefs. What are you expecting? We know that there's there's still plenty of movement to take place, plus the draft.

But things have gotten even more competitive. You got Russell Wilson in the mix. You expect, you know, Deshaun Watson to be healthy. You expect the Bengals to be.

What do you what do you think? Or how do the Ravens fit in this mix? Are they still a number one? Yes, to me, they are just because of the uncertainty in Cincinnati with, you know, their defensive line, with their with their wide receiver group and D. Higgins and, you know, Cleveland. We don't know exactly who's going to be quarterback for the Browns.

And I think that's a it's a pretty important consideration. So it's funny to me that with as much attention as will be paid to the quarterback position, you know, in that division this offseason and the regular season with with Russell Wilson coming in and Joe Burrow getting back healthy and whatever the hell is happening with Deshaun Watson happening. I think this division will probably define by the defenses because the Ravens and the Browns were two of the NFL's best defenses in recent memory last year. And it's within the realm of possibility that like Pittsburgh could be better than both of them next year because you bring in Patrick Queen. You get back into Micah Fitzpatrick. You have, you know, some of those young pieces in the secondary mature. Mike Tomlin always has guys playing above their level.

And maybe now he has a good group of game breakers that could really elevate Pittsburgh back to the upper tier defensively. So it's going to be really, really tough to score in that division. It's going to be a lot of low scoring games, a lot of headaches for quarterback quarterbacks like Lamar, Burrow, Russ, if you'd be an actual starter there. But, you know, that's a senior football baby. Well, Jonas, at your advice, am I in the clear to get a Jamis Winston Brown's jersey?

Is it going to get some action? It was a little disappointing to see that the Ravens might not get the chance to go against Joe Flacco. I know that was a, you know, that Brown-Texans game. A lot of Ravens fans were fighting their nails for the possibility of Joe Flacco of all possibilities being the one to end their season in the divisional round. Obviously that didn't happen.

The Texans won and the Ravens beat the Braves off the Texans. But it would have been very, very cool to see Joe come back to Cleveland and potentially come back to Baltimore as a starter. But I have no clue what's going to happen with that Cleveland quarterback room. It's definitely an interesting one.

That's the word that I'll use. Interesting to say the least. Well, Jonas, I appreciate you for taking the time and sharing your perspective on everything Baltimore Ravens. Where can people keep up with you and your work? Yeah, just follow me on Twitter at Jonas underscore Schaefer, F-H-A-F-F-E-R and the Baltimore banner.com. Thank you so much, Jonas. We'll be catching up with you down the line, okay?

Sounds good, but take care. What's the first thing you do if you'd had more time in the day? Take a nap, read a book, talk with a friend. When you know what's important to you, it's easier to fit it into your schedule. Therapy can help you figure that out. BetterHelp offers affordable online therapy that comes to you. Start the process in minutes and switch therapists any time. Learn to make time for what makes you happy with BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com slash grow today to get 10% off your first month.

That's betterhelp, H-E-L-P.com slash grow. It's that time of year. Cash the ticket. Jim Costa with Mike Velleni. We shift the focus from football to college hoops. Playing that system that's not a system but sure plays like a system leading up to the tournament. We're looking for that value with the daily dimes. We look for the gross lines. Getting us ready for the tournament where we're going to break down all the matchups and have an eye on some future plays too. This time of year, baby. Search Cash the Ticket on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-12 22:31:42 / 2024-03-12 22:38:28 / 7

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