Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s best footwork of the offseason came when he sidestepped the final question of minicamp like a grizzled veteran, Jamison Hensley of ESPN reports.
So, what does Jackson think about all the buzz surrounding the Browns and not his defending AFC North champion Baltimore Ravens?
“We play Miami first. I’m worried about Miami first,” Jackson said, referring to Baltimore’s season-opening opponent. “I don’t really worry about the Browns. We have other teams to worry about. Miami is first.”
Jackson’s response was typical in how the Ravens’ players and front office have handled an offseason in which they’ve gone from the top of the division to a betting underdog. The Ravens remain comfortable lying low as the hype continues to build in Cleveland.
Instead of sounding off about any slights, the Ravens have generally been complimentary of the Browns.
“They deserve that respect right now. They’ve built their team, championship-ready if you want to say that,” wide receiver Willie Snead IV said. “At the end of the day, we’re sitting back in the shadows and we’re working. Internally, we know what we have and we know how good we can be.”
At the owners meetings in March, coach John Harbaugh was asked a half-dozen times about the new-look Browns.
“They’re the most talented team in the division; there’s no question about that right now,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see what that means. I know this: That’s right now. The best team in the division is the team that’s going to win the division. So, we’ll see what the best team is.”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said the Browns are a lot better team “on paper.”
“If they’re that much better, maybe they’ll start beating Pittsburgh,” Bisciotti told season-ticket holders in a conference call in June. “We only have to play them twice a year. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly they develop into the kind of team that some people think they are.”
“For me, personally, honestly, I couldn’t care less. I hope ‘Bake’ [Baker Mayfield] has a great season, just because that’s family — except for two games out of the year,” said Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who was a teammate of Mayfield’s at Oklahoma. “But other than that, it doesn’t affect me much.”