Mark Duffner Calls Ravens Lamar Jackson Dangerous

Defensive coordinator Mark Duffner spoke to the media on Wednesday of Week 15.

(On what kind of challenge Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson brings as a runner)

“Huge challenge. Since Lamar’s gotten in that offense and got it rolling they’re averaging over 200 yards [rushing]. I think the least they’ve had I think is 198 and I think they’ve had 265 as the most. They’re running the offense at a very productive rate right now and it’s a big, big challenge. It’s going to be 11-man football – as it always is – but you’ve got a runner and a thrower with the capability of Lamar Jackson. It’s tough sledding. We’re working like heck getting ready for it.”

(On what changed on defense for them to produce more sacks)

“I think there’s probably a number of reasons. I think first, again the techniques being employed in terms of pass rush and pressure, in terms of the timing. The techniques when you get to a blocker to defeat the blocker. All those things, I think come into play. Like we’ve said before, rush and coverage working together. If the coverage is good, the quarterback has to hold it a little bit longer which buys time for the rush or pressure to get there. Then any time you can have the opportunity to pressure or gang up on the rush – if you’re in the lead, those type of things – there’s a number of factors to go into it. I’m just pleased that our players are having some success in that area and we want to continue to build on it.”

(On what defensive tackle Vita Vea brings to the defense)

“First of all, yes. I see him gaining right now both in the awareness of his job and his responsibility and his technique execution of that. His conditioning certainly has gotten better. He’s given knock back to the line of scrimmage. He’s certainly they’ve got to be concerned with, with blockers, so he’s able to use up blockers as far as that’s concerned. Then he’s finishing. He had a play off to the left where his finish was excellent in terms of a play that had broken through the line of scrimmage in the second half and he makes a play about six yards down the field. The finish he’s displaying so far, coupled with increased conditioning – better conditioning – I think has been good. We’re counting on him to continue to be productive.”

(On how aggressive the front four on defense need to be when facing Lamar Jackson)

“A big challenge. This quarterback has excellent escapability. Disciplined rush lanes are going to be paramount. He’s an excellent scrambler. They’ve got quite a bit of perimeter movement for him in the passing game, whether it be bootlegs or sprints, so they get him on the edge. He’s covering a lot of ground. He’s not just in one spot as a quarterback, so that’s a huge challenge for not only our front, but our whole defense.”

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