Every Lamar Jackson Throw During Workout! | NFL Combine Highlights
The Bleacher Report, How Lamar Jackson Will Change the NFL in the 2020s, Mike Tanier, Jan. 3, 2020.
- Instead of simply dabbling or creating some "package" of quarterback runs, the Ravens rebuilt their entire roster, playbook and identity to make the most of Jackson's talents, and he rewarded them with 36 passing touchdowns, a 113.3 passer rating, 1,206 rushing yards, home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and an all-but-certain MVP award.
- For most of modern NFL history, running was something a great quarterback grew out of as he matured. Coaches feared that designed quarterback runs (other than the occasional one-yard sneak or goal-line bootleg), per conventional wisdom, would only lead to fumbles and injuries. Meanwhile, college football became dominated by wide-open, option-heavy offensive systems by the mid-2000s. Top college quarterbacks won bowl games and awards by both passing and running the football, only to be forced to abandon half of what made them special the moment they turned pro.
- There's little doubt that teams around the NFL will try to copy some components of the Ravens' success.
- Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman and his lieutenants will be lured away to other teams over the next few days or years. College coaches with option-friendly systems like Urban Meyer are likely to get NFL offers. And when prospects like Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, who can both throw and run, are labeled the "next Lamar Jackson" in the years to come, it won't mean that they are due for a career change to wide receiver.
- But that doesn't mean we are going to see 31 Ravens impersonators led by Jackson cosplayers come next September. "I don't think it's going to take over the league," Banner said. "Will there be five or six teams? That may be a little high."
- Doing what the Ravens did this year takes much more than simply drafting a fast college quarterback and drawing up some options for him. Jackson is a rare talent, on par with Vick or the pre-injury Griffin. And his development into a consistent pure passer is what makes the Ravens offense so successful: Take that away, and Baltimore would be running some Tebow-esque gimmick that opponents could quickly figure out. (See last year, when the still-developing Jackson was stymied in the playoffs).
- Even if a team finds a Jackson-caliber talent and develops him properly, it takes organization-wide buy-in to replicate the Ravens' success.
- We probably won't see a league dominated by Ravens imitators. But Jackson's success will still change the NFL in subtle ways, starting with a change of mindset. Evaluators in both the media and scouting departments will think twice about dismissing a dual-threat quarterback as someone who should move to wide receiver just because his footwork or comfort with playbook jargon needs work.
- Banner and other experts also believe that some NFL teams will find a middle ground somewhere between remaining traditional and becoming full-fledged Ravens copycats.
- Jackson's success is the continuation of an evolution that began at the dawn of the 2010s with Vick, Kaepernick and the others.
ESPN, Seeking Lamar Jackson impersonators! How NFL teams prep for the Ravens' playmaking QB, Jamison Hensley, Jan. 7, 2020.The pursuit of finding someone, anyone, to mimic Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson for their scout team has spurred NFL teams to audition everyone from the leader in touchdown passes in the Alliance of American Football to the college roommate of the All-Pro quarterback's cousin. One team even went as far as to contact an ice fisherman in South Dakota.
- Nobody can remember whether the Steelers have ever brought in a free agent just to simulate one opposing player in practice. Then again, unique measures are required for a unique playmaker like Jackson, the MVP front-runner who can make a defense look foolish with a spin in the open field or a pass to the end zone after leaping off one foot.
- "No one has a quarterback that moves and throws like Lamar Jackson, so we are not alone in that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
- Heading into Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game, the Tennessee Titans will probably find out what many Ravens opponents have come to realize. The challenge to defend Jackson goes beyond game days. It starts in the practices leading up to the showdown with the NFL's best quarterback/running back/superhero.
- Defensive coordinators can come up with strategic ways that, on paper, should put their players in position to stop Jackson from getting to the edges and getting comfortable in the pocket. What everyone has struggled to do is find any human who can replicate Jackson's running and throwing abilities to properly prepare defenders for the whirlwind of history-making talent that awaits.
- The New England Patriots never revealed who their Lamar Jackson was in practices because, well, even the NFL's all-time most successful coach was stumped.
- In an attempt to prepare their defense for Jackson, the Texans went with practice squad quarterback Alex McGough. The 49ers opted for returner Richie James. And the Rams picked Wolford, who, like Jackson, led a league in touchdown passes, albeit the AAF, after giving up a job on Wall Street to pursue professional football.
- The problem with prepping for Jackson is that locating someone as athletic and strong-armed as him is only the first step. In order to run the Ravens offense as Jackson, you have to get down the precision of the system, from the snap to the option handoff and all the motions and fakes that go with it. It's all about timing and ballhandling. It's based on deception and misdirection.
- There's just a shock to the system when a defender goes from preparing for Jackson against a scout team to trying to get a hand on him during a game.
Why is that?
"There's no other Lamar Jackson in the NFL," Patriots safety Duron Harmon said.
NFL, Lamar Jackson ready to earn postseason redemption, Nick Shook, Jan. 7, 2020.
- Like the Big Bang, the initial explosion took a little bit of time to sort out. Jackson's MVP candidacy didn't immediately form, and it required a rookie-year run to the playoffs that included a bitter postseason loss.
- Baltimore owns the league's No. 1 rushing offense, while the Titans finished third in the regular season in rushing (138.9 yards per game) and racked up 201 rushing yards in their wild-card win over the Patriots. Baltimore and Tennessee also rank in the top 12 in rushing defense, though the Ravens are allowing 15 less yards on the ground per game.