Baltimore's Rob Long: "I Fell In Love With This Kid Then"

The 105.7 The Fan host recalls the first time he knew Lamar Jackson was a winner

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
November 19, 2019 - 9:03 am
Lamar Jackson Ravens

USA Today Images

Categories: 

On October 29, 2016, Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan host Rob Long learned something important. He learned that Lamar Jackson was a winner.

Jackson, then a sophomore at Louisville, threw for 361 yards, ran for 88 and scored four touchdowns in a 32-25 win over Virginia in Charlottesville. He would later win the Heisman Trophy.

“I fell in love with this kid then,” Long said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “He just had the it factor – sort of like when you saw Patrick Mahomes at Texas Tech. You knew that if he was surrounded by the right people – I’m not talking about just the right personnel on the field, but the right coaching staff – you knew they would succeed. John Harbaugh stepped out of the way and allowed Greg Roman to put the right system around him to be able to succeed.”

Jackson has morphed into an MVP candidate in Baltimore’s run-first offense. He’s thrown for 2,258 yards, rushed for a team-high 788 yards and has 25 touchdowns (19 pass, six rush) to just five interceptions.

“Football needs to diversify its portfolio on quarterbacks,” Long said. “The old days of just a standing-in-the-pocket quarterback, those aren’t gone. There’s room for all of them now. That’s the thing I love about the NFL. Lamar Jackson is a winner. You can’t name all the guys at Louisville on offense that went to the NFL, yet he was able to win in the ACC and put up good numbers. His accuracy – well, who was he throwing to? These guys aren’t in the National Football League. There was something about him.”

Jackson isn’t just getting by on athleticism, either. 

“He’s put in the work,” Long said. “That’s the great thing about him. The greats have tremendous talent, but their work ethic matches their talent and he appears to be that guy. I hope he doesn’t change with that. I hope he continues to put in the work.”

The Ravens (8-2) play the Rams (6-4) on Monday Night Football on Nov. 25. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. ET.