The hate for Lamar Jackson is at an all-time high

The hate for Lamar Jackson is  at an all-time high
August 04
10:41 2022

There have been detractors when it comes to Lamar Jackson and how good he is or can be. Now that his contract has been one of the main storylines for this offseason, everyone is coming out with their own opinion about the MVP winning quarterback.

Jackson is next in line to receive a big contract, but for some reason the Baltimore Ravens have been somewhat hesitant to offer him top dollar. Jackson does not have an agent and represents himself, so he and the Ravens have not come to an agreeable number as of yet.

Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes all recently got paid by their respective teams.  Jackson is definitely on par with several of those quarterbacks and deserves his money for the production he has already shown in his four years.

Because Jackson and the Ravens have not agreed to terms on a contract, there have been plenty of analysts and anonymous coaches who have given their two cents on negotiations and most of it has been negative.

Jackson is entering his fifth season in the league and is not your conventional drop-back passer. His style of play is not appealing to everyone and many people like to point to his style as the reason why they feel he won’t be as successful as traditional pocket passers. In an article published by Mike Sando of The Athletic, an anonymous NFL defensive coordinator had an interesting take.

“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game. He’s so unique as an athlete and he’s a really good football player, but I don’t give a s&*@ if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be one as a quarterback. He’ll be one as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two-minutes, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”

My goodness. When I first heard that comment on SportsCenter, I had to go and find the quote online to make sure I heard it correctly. That was the most biased and inaccurate statement I have heard from a so-called coach in the NFL. This comment is downright insulting to Jackson’s talent, honestly.

Jackson is a player who has succeeded on all levels. He won a Heisman trophy at Louisville. Upon entering the league, he was successful very quickly. In only his second year, he won the MVP award and led the league in passing touchdowns. Yes, he had a down year last season dealing with injuries, but I believe that he will rebound this season very well.

Not only was he dealing with his own injuries, Jackson also lost his top two running backs for the year before the season even got started. He also didn’t have the most talented receiving corps to work with either. Hollywood Brown, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals, and Mark Andrews were his only consistent targets.  

People love to lean on the fact that “running quarterbacks,” which are more often than not Black, don’t win Super Bowls. They point to Randall Cunningham, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Cam Newton, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair and others as examples. None of the previously mentioned quarterbacks ever won a Super Bowl; however, a few of them did go to the big game and almost won it.

Jackson took the high road when commenting about what the anonymous coach had to say about him. He spoke with the media last Thursday and simply stated: “It’s anonymous, so I don’t really care. He’s anonymous for a reason.”

Baltimore Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh was asked about the quote last week during training camp. He defended his star quarterback against what the anonymous defensive coordinator said.

“I don’t know who this guy named anonymous is,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t met him yet. I don’t even know why we report on what he has to say. It is what it is. It’s just bologna. It’s just nothing. It’s a big nothing burger.”

That’s great to hear from Coach Harbaugh. I am glad to see him defending his quarterback, even though Jackson and the team are knee deep in contract negotiations. It’s just sad that a quarterback that has done so much in just four years still has to validate himself in the league.

I am beginning to hate hearing that a running quarterback will never consistently win in the postseason. I beg to differ. People said the same thing about jump shooting teams in the NBA and before the Golden State Warriors, they were correct. Now everyone in the NBA is tripping over themselves to find a similar formula as the Warriors have changed the way the game is played.

I think Jackson, or some other quarterback like him, can do the same thing for the NFL. All it will take is the right combination of talent on the field and coaching. I am not sure that combination is in Baltimore right now, but it’s only a matter of time before someone figures it out and then everyone will try and emulate that.

Jackson is not the best passer in the game right now, but he still has room for improvement. He doesn’t have to become the best passer to achieve the goal of winning the Super Bowl, he just has to become good enough to make the defense respect that part of his game even more. Once that consistency is there, the league is going to be in trouble because the Ravens have already tailored their offensive system in favor of Jackson’s skill set.  

I hate throwing out the race card but the obvious attacks on Black quarterbacks like Jackson, Mahomes, Murray and even Prescott are getting a bit out of control. It’s funny that you don’t hear the same criticism about their white counterparts. When quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, Daniel Jones or Trevor Lawrence struggled, there was some criticism, but not to the level that some of these Black quarterbacks have to deal with. 

It’s getting a bit old that we are still dealing with these same stereotypes in 2022 and I’m sure that anonymous defensive coordinator is not the only one that feels that way.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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