Lamar Jackson Didn’t Listen

 
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Lamar Jackson could’ve listened to what people said. Analysts said his game didn’t translate to the NFL. Coaches said he would have to convert to receiver. Scouts said his throwing mechanics weren’t good enough, and the guy once threw a football nearly 100 yards. He could’ve listened to all of those critics, and there were a lot of them.

Lamar Jackson didn’t listen.

Now, he’s got the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs riding a three-game win streak. He’s 6-1 as a starter since taking over for Joe Flacco in November, and he’s about to become the youngest quarterback (21 years old) ever to start an NFL playoff game when the Ravens face the Chargers on Sunday.  

But that’s a different story – the one where we find out if this 21-year-old Heisman Trophy winner really is ready for the big stage. This story is about Lamar Jackson the quarterback, not just the athlete, and the fact that he didn’t listen.

We could rattle off stats from the last six games like we sometimes do…

  • 10 touchdowns (6 passing, 4 rushing)

  • A QB rating of 91.8

  • 1,100+ passing yards, 500+ rushing yards

But numbers don’t give justice to the electricity in Lamar Jackson’s game... as a quarterback.

It’s a dance with defensive coordinators and a chess match that, so far, has baffled six out of seven opponents. It’s artwork with the football and elusiveness that channels Michael Vick. It’s five straight misdirection runs followed by a play action 70-yard bomb, then a 30-yard quarterback draw, and a college-esque triple option. The Ravens’ playbook? Endless.

Most of all, it’s so fun to watch, and it wouldn’t have happened if Lamar Jackson had listened to what people said. If he didn’t put his foot down during last year’s NFL combine interview and say,“Whoever likes me at quarterback, that’s where I’m going. That’s strictly my position.”

In 15 minutes of interview questions at the combine last spring, Jackson fielded nearly 15 questions regarding teams asking him to work out at wide receiver. He used the word “quarterback” almost 20 times.

We love watching Lamar Jackson play football – and you should, too – but we love the message of his underdog story even more…

Believe in who you are. And when the world tries to tell you to be something different, don't listen.

 
Justin Tangjanuary2019