It’s 2022, and those in and around the NFL are still spouting terrible thoughts about Lamar Jackson.
Sports Mike Sandow He recently published his annual QB Class List, in which all quarterbacks are ranked in groups (usually five) based on the ratings of NFL executives and employees. Jackson, the Ravens’ quarterback and 2019 MVP, is rated a Level 2 – described as being able to “carry his team occasionally but not consistently” and “can handle pure passing situations with potions and/or possess other dimensions distinct enough to be promoted” , but “has a hole or two in his game.”
Maybe it’s a fairly fair assessment of Jackson – but one anonymous defensive coordinator had a very strict diagnosis of his play.
“If he had to pass in order to win the match, they wouldn’t win the match,” the coordinator said. “He is unique as an athlete and he is really a good footballer, but I don’t (care) if he won the league’s best player 12 times, I don’t think he would be 1 as a midfield player. He would be 1 as a footballer, but not as a quarterback.”
Yes, the NFL is still recycling the same old snippets about the dynamic quarterback they had after the junior season, when he had nearly as many lunging attempts as pass attempts and everyone unfairly described him as a running back. In his second season, he led the league only in touchdown passes, averaging more yards per attempt than Justin Herbert did in his second season, and completed more than 66 percent of his passes.
Since his rookie year, Jackson has thrown 8,766 yards, 78 passing touchdowns, and 28 interceptions in 42 games, some with injuries (both to him and the players around him). He also rushed for 2,978 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he’s proven to be more than a passer-by—and he still has plenty of room for improvement at just 25 years old.
Playoff success has been the embarrassment for Jackson so far in the league – he’s made 1-3 in four post-season games, with only three touchdowns and five interceptions – but he has hit post-season in all three seasons in which he is in full health. But many “traditional” quarterbacks in NFL history struggled in the playoffs early in their careers. Peyton Manning lost his first three playoffs, only hitting one touchdown.
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Jackson is still penalized for his unique skill set, held to unfair standards simply because he offers more sprinters than any player in NFL history. If he won the MVP title 12 times, as the anonymous coordinator suggested, he would undoubtedly have done so by the strength of his arm.
It sparked comments from The Athletic piece online:
As Jackson heads to a training camp for his fifth season (Central Perhaps the case of fragile knots), one hopes that this will be the year he finally changes some opinions. But really, what more could he do?
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”