Lamar Jackson is used to being critiqued and being told he’s not going to succeed in the NFL.
Critiques that he couldn’t cut it as a quarterback in the NFL marked the lead-up to his being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, which he’s proven wrong in every conceivable way.
Before the start of the 2021 NFL season, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler appeared on Get Up and said that he was hearing a fresh round of criticism surrounding Jackson.
.@JFowlerESPN says Lamar Jackson is a sleeper for QB under the most pressure this season 😳
"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." pic.twitter.com/lXP0EUPkUJ
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) August 20, 2021
“There are a lot of people around the league that I speak to,” said Fowler. “They say this might be the year that everybody figures out Lamar Jackson.”
The comment was met with derision at the time. And it’s only gotten worse in the weeks since. Not only has Jackson put up a 67% completion percentage with 1,686 passing yards, nine passing touchdowns, 392 rushing yards, and two more rushing scores, but the Ravens are 5-1, alone atop the AFC, and a clear contender for the Super Bowl. Oh, and Jackson also broke the record for most QB wins before turning 25.
Lamar Jackson is a cheat code
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) October 17, 2021
In every conceivable way, Fowler’s comments were wrong about Jackson. And head coach John Harbaugh decided to throw a little red meat to Ravens fans on Monday about it.
“If you’re looking for your headline here, I think the people who make those statements are kind of whistling in the graveyard just a little bit,” Harbaugh said Monday, per ESPN. “It doesn’t have any meaning. Anybody who knows X’s and O’s are rolling their eyes when they hear something like that.”
Harbaugh wasn’t done praising Jackson, who has, somehow, improved on what was already one of the league’s most impressive skillsets.
“I don’t think once somebody does something — some X-and-O idea — all of a sudden that’s the answer,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve kind of been saying that for three years now. There is no answer. You’ve got to play well. You’ve got to execute. Whoever executes better and makes plays, really, in the end, is going to win. It’s less about figuring somebody out.”