Ravens’ Zay Flowers gets tough love from teammates

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Rookie first-round pick Zay Flowers provided all of the Baltimore Ravens‘ touchdowns in Sunday’s 20-10 win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and his teammates responded with a heavy dose of tough love.

Flowers gave the Ravens their first lead with a three-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter and then essentially sealed the victory with a 37-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He became the NFL’s ninth rookie wide receiver since 2000 to produce a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t exactly satisfied with Flowers’ second and third touchdowns of the season.

“We need a lot more, if anything,” Jackson said. “I’ve been waiting on him to score multiple times in a game.”

Flowers, the 22nd pick in this year’s draft, scored his first touchdown when Baltimore played in London. It took him six weeks before he scored again.

In the second quarter, Flowers got open in the back of the end zone, where he caught a three-yard touchdown pass. Afterward, Flowers turned his back on his teammates in the end zone and tossed the ball over his head, imitating a bride throwing a bouquet.

Flowers tried to explain the humorous connection with “flowers.”

“I told him that was the worst celebration I’ve ever seen,” Jackson said.

Flowers wasn’t offended by Jackson’s harsh take on his celebration.

“He didn’t understand,” Flowers said. “He didn’t like it, so we’re going to forget that one.”

In the fourth quarter, after the Baltimore defense delivered a fourth-down stand, Flowers took the handoff from Jackson on a jet sweep and scored a 37-yard touchdown. It was the second-longest touchdown run by a wide receiver this season.

Flowers was running at 15.46 miles per hour when he received the handoff, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. He had just a 0.7% chance of scoring a touchdown when he took the ball from Jackson.

“I thought after I made the first move, I saw No. 3 [Derwin James Jr.] over-running it, and I was like, ‘Yes, it’s over with,'” Flowers said. “[I] made him miss [and] shot into the end zone.”

Some of the Ravens defenders weren’t pleased with Flowers. If he would have stopped short of the end zone, Baltimore could have kneeled and ran off the final 96 seconds.

Instead, after Flowers’ touchdown, the Ravens’ defense needed to come up with its second fourth-down stand.

“His ass needs to get down,” Ravens outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy said.

Baltimore nose tackle Michael Pierce chalked it up to Flowers being a rookie.

“He doesn’t know any better,” Pierce said. “We go over those things in team meetings. Maybe we need to listen a little bit more, but situational football is important. I think that’s a good learning lesson.”

Asked if he should have slid before the goal line, Flowers said, “We work on that, but nobody told me [to go down], so I just went to the end zone.”

Flowers is on track to have the best season ever by a Ravens rookie wide receiver. His 58 catches are already the most by a Baltimore rookie. He needs 228 yards receiving to surpass Torrey Smith for the most by a Ravens first-year player.

“He’s electrifying,” Ravens offensive tackle Morgan Moses said. “Every time he has the ball, he makes somebody miss. And it’s our job as offensive linemen to keep blocking for him. And he’s a guy that you can give the ball to him in a whole bunch of different ways.”



Source : ESPN