Long: Lamar Jackson Can Throw, Will Be Effective

Lamar Jackson will never be Drew Brees, Rob Long says, but he will still be an efficient quarterback

Tiki and Tierney
August 27, 2019 - 6:37 pm
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Last year, the Baltimore Ravens entered their Week 10 bye in free-fall. They had lost four of five to fall to 4-5 on the season.

Then Lamar Jackson happened. The rookie led the Ravens to wins in six of their final seven games before losing to the Chargers, 23-17, in the Wild Card. Jackson did most of his damage on the ground during the second half of the season, but he hopes to become a better pocket-passer in 2019.

Will he?

“Let me go backwards before I come forwards,” Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan host Rob Long said on Tiki & Tierney. “Lamar Jackson was a guy that ran the football a lot last year because backup quarterbacks don’t take snaps in practice unless it’s training camp. After the preseason, he was relegated to holding and watching. Imagine how disastrous last year would have been when you go to Lamar Jackson if he didn’t have this phenomenal ability to run.”

Jackson completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 1,201 yards, ran for 695 yards, and finished with 11 total touchdowns and three interceptions.

Just because he didn’t throw the ball much last year doesn’t mean he can’t.

“Look at the guy’s college career: he’s a guy that could run the ball if he has to, but he could throw the football,” Long said. “If you look at his numbers last year, we talk about this guy (as if) he completed 40 or 50 percent of his passes. He completed 58 percent of his passes with a passer rating of mid-80s. Those are Joe Flacco’s career numbers. He’s going to be an efficient quarterback.”

Now, will Jackson ever throw for 5,000 yards? No, he will not. But he can still be successful.

“He’s not Drew Brees. He never will be Drew Brees,” Long said. “But with him at the helm – I’m a basketball coach. Imagine defending having to watch ball and man on the football field. That’s what it is with Lamar Jackson. You’ve got to watch ball and man. So his windows are going to be a little bit wider than most other quarterbacks because he’s going to have receivers wide open because you have to watch the ball. You have to know where the football field is because if he goes, it’s trouble. So now you have guys not on a basketball court, but on a  football field, having to watch ball and man. You have to defend like basketball against Lamar Jackson.”

The Ravens open the season against the Dolphins in Miami on Sept. 8.

Click below to listen to Long’s interview in its entirety.