Ravens Coach John Harbaugh on Re-Signing Lamar Jackson at the Last Minute: 'We Should Be Great' (Exclusive)
“Good to get Lamar back... That's going to help us,” Harbaugh told PEOPLE at the 148th Preakness Stakes on Saturday
The Baltimore Ravens are pumped for next season.
At the 148th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, coach John Harbaugh and several of the players shared their incredibly positive outlook for the upcoming season, particularly after quarterback Lamar Jackson re-signed at the last minute and Odell Beckham Jr. joined the team on a one-year deal.
“Very excited,” Harbaugh tells PEOPLE about the 2023-2024 season on the red carpet of the 148th Preakness Stakes on Saturday. “Good to get Lamar back. That's kind of nice. That's going to help us.”
“We gave him a lot of weapons,” he adds. “We already had a good offensive line. Defense is going to be great. We should be great.”
The Ravens coach also talked about Beckham Jr. joining the squad. “Odell's just a kind of a guy that's just kind of a lightning rod,” he says. “He's going to excite everything, spark everything.”
Related:Ravens Coach John Harbaugh Said He Spoke With QB Lamar Jackson Over His Vulgar Twitter Exchange
Harbaugh also name checked Nelson Agholor, the new wide receiver the team signed in March that previously played with the New England Patriots. “Very excited about Nelson coming in. He's a real leader. People forget he was a first round pick. He's the top player in the draft. He's talented,” he says.
And Harbaugh wasn’t the only Raven excited about the new and improved roster.
“I don’t think I could be more fired up for what our team is in the process of building right now,” Ravens place kicker Justin Tucker also tells PEOPLE at Preakness. “I think everybody would agree, getting Lamar’s deal done, and getting Odell signed and Nelson Agholor… I think our team is really shaping up to be… a force to be reckoned with.”
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Linebacker Tyus Bowser tells PEOPLE it’s “great to be able to have [Jackson] back” as well as the addition of Beckham. “I think it’s going to be a really good year for us. With us bringing in some fire power, and of course, with our draft, we brought in a lot of good guys so I’m looking forward to the season.” Tyler Linderbaum, the team’s center, agrees. “It’s exciting to add pieces like that.”
Jackson re-signed with the Ravens just hours before the NFL draft in April. Prior to deciding to stay with the team, the quarterback shared his desire to leave Baltimore in an emotional letter posted on Twitter dedicated to his fans, saying that he made the call after deciding what "was best" for him and his family.
Related:Odell Beckham Jr.'s Son Sports Baltimore Ravens Gear in Adorable Photo After Dad Signs with Team
"As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value. [Any] and everyone [that] has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the Super Bowl," he wrote on Twitter.
"You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I'll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You'll See me again," he added.
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