10 perspectives on the Lamar Jackson-OBJ chemistry – ESPN – Baltimore Ravens Blog


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Before Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the Baltimore Ravens on April 18, the popular wide receiver knew of quarterback Lamar Jackson, but he didn’t really know Jackson.

As Beckham put it, he had “never hit him up” or spoken to Jackson extensively. He watched from afar as Jackson shredded defenses while he was at Louisville and juked out defenders when he got to the NFL.

“You have a deep respect for greats,” Beckham said. “And the relationship is definitely developing. It’s just cool to be able to kick it on and off the field, and, ‘What do you see, or how do you see it?’”

As the Ravens prepare to play a preseason game at the Washington Commanders on “Monday Night Football” (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), Beckham and Jackson represent the NFL’s most high-profile new connection. Prior to becoming teammates, Beckham and Jackson skyrocketed to the top of their positions by making plays that few others can replicate. Now, after they have joined forces, Ravens players, coaches and even opponents see special things ahead.

Jackson has never had someone who can pluck throws out of the air like Beckham can, and Beckham has never caught passes from a former NFL MVP. But their All-Pro personas have taken hits recently. Beckham has had more knee surgeries than 1,000-yard seasons over the past four years. Jackson hasn’t appeared in a playoff game since 2020, failing to reach 3,000 yards passing in each of the past three seasons.

To prove the doubters wrong, Beckham and Jackson know they have to be in sync.

At camp last week, Jackson declared: “I feel like our chemistry is there.”

During the Ravens’ preseason opener, Jackson expounded on the relationship, saying, “He makes my job a lot easier. Put it anywhere in his perimeter and he’s going to make something happen. It’s like throwing an alley-oop, and Odell is just finishing with the dunk.”

Throughout training camp, Beckham and Jackson have produced plenty of buzz-worthy moments. They combined for the biggest play of the first day of camp, when Jackson’s pass hit Beckham between defensive backs Rock Ya-Sin and Kyle Hamilton. Jackson’s best pass of the summer came when, despite a pass rush in his face, he tossed the ball over Jalyn Armour-Davis and into the hands of Beckham.

There have been some hiccups, from Beckham dropping a deep pass from Jackson to Jackson underthrowing an open Beckham a few times on the first day of joint practices with the Commanders. Then, on the second day of practices with Washington, Jackson did a pump fake before hitting Beckham in stride in the end zone.

“A receiver always wants to work for his quarterback,” Beckham said. “He’s going to have to hang in there and take a hit every now and then to get you a touchdown, and you’re going to have to take a hit to complete the pass for him. So, it’s a mutual relationship that [you] guys have to have there. So, everything is cool.”

So, where does the chemistry between Beckham and Jackson stand now? Here is how others view their on-field relationship:

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh: “You see it in the plays they make. It’s not like some secret sauce that you can’t see. It’s going to continue to get better. I’m happy with where it’s at, for sure.”

Ravens assistant WRs coach Keith Williams: “You see it every day; we work at that. The chemistry comes with reps, [and the] chemistry comes with time. But the good thing about it [is] Odell is a veteran, [and] he understands football. Lamar is obviously a veteran. Those guys understand football, so them getting on the same page and getting rhythm and chemistry is not going to take as long as some may think. We have seen examples of that so far, and we’re just going to keep on building those blocks.”

Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard: “Odell’s arguably one of the best receivers to play this game, and I think Lamar’s also arguably one of the most special quarterbacks to play. To have them together is just going to be explosive plays. It’s been a lot of fun to watch them in practice so far, and I think as the season keeps going, they’re going to be jelling more.”

Commanders CB Kendall Fuller: “Just good talent, man. Just veteran guys. I think [they’re] kind of just learning each other, feeling each other. You can definitely, definitely see it. I’m sure they’re gonna have a good year, both good players. So, it was fun to get out there and go out and compete against them.”

Ravens WR coach Greg Lewis: “They’re both professionals. They’ve been doing it for a while. They understand what they need to do. They get work after practice, before practice in the indoor [facility] and do some stuff. Then, it shows up on the field. Not every play is a completion, but they’re getting on the same page and doing a [heck] of a job working together and trying to grow the receiving corps. I think it’s awesome just to see that work after practice, before practice, and then it shows up at times during practice. But we have a couple weeks left before it’s time, and I believe we’ll be there when the time is right.”

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey: “I think that connection is going to be sweet. I’m really excited for those two guys to make some big things happen.”

Ravens guard Kevin Zeitler: “I think it’s just getting better. [They’re] two of the outlier best players in this league. Being together, I think that just allows for magic to happen.”

Ravens LB Roquan Smith: “I see those guys kicking it as well, so that’s a good way to have that chemistry amongst those guys. There’s going to be a lot of great things. [There’s going] to be a lot of deep balls, intermediate balls, and balls all over the field for those guys. So I’m excited about that connection for those two.”

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