Lamar Jackson has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and he’s used most of that time terrorizing opposing defenses with his legs.
However, there seems to be a growing belief that those same defenses are going to turn the tables on Jackson. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said last week, “There are a lot of people around the league that I speak to, they say this might be the year that everybody figures out Lamar Jackson.”
“We’re going to see,” Jackson told reporters Tuesday. “But I doubt it, though. I strongly doubt it.”
Jackson has run for almost 3,000 yards in 37 starts and has turned Baltimore’s offense into one of the league’s best rushing attacks. The main knock against him has been his ability to test defenses through the air and keep opponents from selling out to stop the run.
Still, a 30-7 record as a starting quarterback speaks for itself. The playoff success just hasn’t come as fast as it has in the regular season, and Jackson continues to take steps to improve as a passer. At least, that’s what his teammates have noticed.
“I just notice his improvement,” Ronnie Stanley said. “I’ve always thought that he takes his approach to his technique more seriously than a lot of people thought. So I definitely see the improvements he’s made in the passing game and I know he’s taking the steps to take his game to another level, but overall he’s still the same great person.”
After back-to-back losses in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs, there’s pressure on Jackson and the Ravens collectively to make a deeper run in the postseason. If Jackson takes a step forward as a passer, there’s practically no way NFL defenses could possibly hope to “figure him out.”
“He’s doing great, he’s doing a great job, he looks good,” Harbaugh said. “You see it, you guys are out here every day. You guys know what good throws look like. He’s had many good throws and he’s had some throws he wants back just like any quarterback.
“We try to get as efficient as we can at executing every aspect that goes with it and I think Lamar is doing a very good job of that.”