Every so often, Todd Monken will pull up a clip of his 2022 Georgia offense and give the Ravens’ tight ends something to aspire to. Last year’s Bulldogs team had Brock Bowers, a field-stretching receiver and potential top-10 pick in next year’s draft. They had Darnell Washington, a mauling blocker and third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And they had no problem blending their skill sets.

“They had a ton of yards,” Ravens tight end Charlie Kolar said of Georgia’s dynamic, tight-end-heavy offense after a training camp practice Saturday. “They had really interesting stuff with the screen game. They had a good vertical passing attack. It was definitely interesting.”

Monken is still figuring things out as the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator. He said Thursday the unit is a “work in progress,” that the Ravens are “not nearly where we need to be,” that there’s “a lot of work to do.” Almost two weeks into camp, answers to the big-picture questions that Monken’s arrival prompted — How much will the Ravens spread things out? How pass happy will quarterback Lamar Jackson be? — are only slightly clearer than they were when he was hired to replace Greg Roman.

But if Monken wants to borrow from his 2022 Georgia offense, the 2023 Ravens may require some assembly. In Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely, Monken has two talented tight ends who were significantly worse off together last season than they were apart.

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When Jackson had only Andrews on the field last season, the Ravens averaged 0.01 expected points added per play, according to TruMedia, which would’ve ranked 13th overall among NFL offenses. When Jackson had only Likely on the field, the offense averaged 0.21 EPA per play, which would’ve ranked first. (EPA is a measure of efficiency that accounts for situational factors such as down, distance and field position.)

But when Jackson had Andrews and Likely on the field, more was not better. Quite the opposite: The Ravens averaged minus-0.11 EPA per play, which would’ve ranked 30th.

TEs on field with Lamar JacksonEPA per play (NFL team rank)EPA per drop-back Success rate
Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely-0.11 (30th)-0.16 (32nd)39.9% (23rd)
Only Mark Andrews0.01 (13th)-0.01 (18th)44.6% (5th)
Only Isaiah Likely0.21 (1st)0.17 (3rd)47.6% (2nd)

The Ravens’ on-off splits shed only so much light. They cannot account, for example, for factors such as the injuries the tight ends played through or the opponents they faced. Nor are the samples especially robust. Jackson lined up with both Andrews and Likely on just 137 plays, or about two games’ worth. He lined up with only Likely, meanwhile, on just 90 plays, a bulk of which came in Week 8, when the rookie had 77 yards against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Week 9, when the offense had another strong showing against the New Orleans Saints.

But there were clear struggles in Roman’s attack when Jackson dropped back to pass with both Andrews and Likely available. He finished 61-for-100 for a meager 6.2 yards per attempt, with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Jackson’s minus-0.16 EPA per drop-back would’ve ranked last in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks in 2022.

“There’s only one ball, so we have to kind of work off each other,” Ravens tight ends coach George Godsey said Saturday. “A lot of times, Mark gets two [defenders] maybe on him, so that’s time for us to get open. … Isaiah knows that, and when it’s a one-on-one opportunity, we have to take advantage of that. Everybody — receivers, tight ends, running backs — if we’re put in that role, I think they all understand that.”

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The Ravens don’t have to look far for proof of concept. Roman’s 2019 offense, which Jackson piloted to record-breaking numbers, relied heavily on two- and three-tight-end formations. The Kansas City Chiefs were never more efficient last season than when they lined up in “13″ personnel (one running back, three tight ends, one wide receiver). The Seattle Seahawks, who had one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses in 2022, lined up with at least two tight ends on over 40% of their snaps.

And then there’s Monken’s own track record. Georgia unsettled defenses last season as much with its talent as with its offensive balance. Line up in “base” personnel (four defensive backs), and Bowers and Washington could make linebackers pay in coverage. Line up in nickel personnel (five defensive backs), and the two could bust open gaps against cornerbacks in run support.

“We want to just make defenses start having to play off of us,” Likely said Saturday. “If it’s base personnel, you really want to have two tight ends. ... If they’re in nickel, you really want to be able to run the ball. So, really, just having them have no answer for our offense — and I really feel like that’s the best way to be explosive.”

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - NOVEMBER 20: Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens rolls out of the pocket in the fourth quarter of a game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland.
One thing to watch at practice Monday will be how Lamar Jackson fares after throwing four interceptions during Saturday's sessions and having a day off Sunday. (Rob Carr)

Monday’s schedule

The 10th day of full-squad training camp practice starts at 1:20 p.m. at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. After practice, head coach John Harbaugh will speak with reporters, followed by defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, cornerback Jalyn Armour-Davis and defensive back Brandon Stephens.

What I’m looking for

Response time

Ravens quarterbacks combined to throw nine interceptions in Saturday’s practice, when the defense made the most of some third-and-long game scripts. How will Jackson, who had a team-high four picks, respond after a day off?

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Injury report

Harbaugh said last week that outside linebacker David Ojabo and cornerback Rock Ya-Sin would return “soon” from minor camp injuries. Safety Geno Stone (ankle) might not be out much longer, either.

Simpson’s shuffle

Rookie Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu has spent most of camp practicing at left guard with the starting offensive line, but John Simpson’s expected to swap spots with the sixth-round pick this week. “We’ll look at both guys with both groups of guys,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “So that’s how we set it up.”

jonas.shaffer@thebaltimorebanner.com

Jonas Shaffer is a Ravens beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun. Shaffer graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Silver Spring.

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