Ravens building on offense Greg Roman made for 49ers, Colin Kaepernick


In 2012, Jim Harbaugh handed the 49ers’ starting quarterback job to Colin Kaepernick and turned to offensive coordinator Greg Roman to re-design the offense.

The Baltimore Ravens of 2019 are taking it to a different level with Lamar Jackson running Roman’s offense.

After two seasons on John Harbaugh’s staff as tight ends coach, Roman was promoted to offensive coordinator this season. There are a lot of similarities between the offense John Harbaugh faced against the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVI and what his team is doing now.

“Obviously, Greg Roman is here,” John Harbaugh said Wednesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “He was a huge part of that there with my brother.

“I always admired what they did, the physicality of it and the creativity of it were something I always felt good about, probably because Jim and I were both raised that way, you know. All the way back, I think that’s dad’s approach to the game. It always was. We probably see it through the same lens.”

Roman served as Jim Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator for all four of his seasons with the 49ers from 2011 to 2014 – and before that when they were together at Stanford University.

Roman unleashed the true read-option attack on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Round at Candlestick Park on Jan. 12, 2013.

Colin Kaepernick rushed for 181 yards -- an NFL record for a quarterback -- with two touchdowns in 16 attempts (including two end-of-game kneel-downs for minus-2 yards). Kaepernick also threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns.

Three weeks later in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Kaepernick rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown and threw for 302 yards and a touchdown in the 49ers’ 34-31 loss to Harbaugh’s Ravens.

The Ravens (9-2) are riding the hottest quarterback in the game into a seven-game winning streak ahead of Sunday's game against the 10-1 49ers.

Baltimore ranks No. 1 in points per game (35.1) and rushing yards (210.5) per game. They are No. 2 in total yards per game (433.3).

The Ravens are 15-3 with Jackson as its starter. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 2,000 yards and rush for 800 through the first 11 games of a season. With 876 rushing yards, he is on pace to break Michael Vick’s single-season quarterback rushing record of 1,039 yards.

Jackson is responsible for an NFL-best 30 total touchdowns this season (24 passing and six rushing). And in his last four games, Jackson has thrown 13 touchdowns with no interceptions while completing 76.2 percent of his pass attempts. He has produced two perfect passer ratings of 158.3 this season.

[RELATED: Bosa, 49ers focused on fixing zone-read issues vs. Lamar]

Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner at Louisville, was the No. 32 overall pick in the 2018 draft. He replaced Joe Flacco at quarterback last season.

“I think he’s improved all across the board,” John Harbaugh said. “That’s the thing about playing quarterback. It’s never one thing. There’s just too much involved for it to be just one thing. You can have a cannon for an arm, and it doesn’t make you a quarterback. It’s kind of like the guy who wins the drive contest, it doesn’t make him the Masters champion.

“I feel like Lamar has worked all along in every area equally and improved across the board.”

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