Ismail: Jackson "Looks Like A Different Quarterback"

The Ravens gave Lamar Jackson weapons, Qadry Ismail says, and now there are "so many guys you have to worry about"

Taz and the Moose
August 20, 2019 - 9:44 am
Lamar Jackson Ravens

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Lamar Jackson became the Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback in Week 11 last season. The Ravens were 4-5 and had lost three straight games, as their playoff hopes seemed non-existent. But Jackson, a rookie, led them to wins in six of their final seven games, with the only loss coming at Kansas City in overtime.

Jackson struggled, however, in a Wild Card game against the Chargers, which the Ravens lost 23-17. How important is it for Jackson to develop as a passer in his second season?

“I think it’s priority No. 1,” former Raven and Super Bowl champion Qadry Ismail said on Taz & The Moose. “We saw last year when they played against the Chargers in the playoffs that people are going to make adjustments. People are going to force you out of your comfort zone. For him, they forced him out of his comfort zone. He wasn’t able to run the ball. They looked like a JV football team.”

Fortunately for the Ravens, it appears that is no longer the case.

“Lamar has had a great camp,” Ismail said. “He has had way more ups than he has had downs. He’s been decisive where he wanted to go with the football. I think he’s shown a great deal of rhythm as far as his intermediate passing. He’s made great decisions  as far as his red zone play. He just looks like a different quarterback. I think he’s a lot more comfortable. Let’s see how it translates over to the regular season.”

Jackson carried the ball 147 times for 695 yards and five touchdowns last season; 119 of those carries came in his seven games as a starter. The Ravens, as shown by their offseason moves, don’t want Jackson running that often.

“For Lamar, it was about getting guys around him that are playmakers,” Ismail said, rattling off Mark Ingram, Justice Hill and Gus Edwards. “If you have good strong running backs, it really doesn’t matter what Lamar does. You’ve got to stop the running backs. But then you look at Marquise Brown, you look at some of the other guys – Willie Sneed, Chris Moore, the two tight ends in (Jayden) Hurst and (Mark) Andrews. 

“If you surround Lamar with talent, I don’t believe a defensive coordinator is just going to focus on Lamar,” Ismail continued. “It’s about him spreading the ball around to different guys. That’s what makes this offense so dangerous to an opposing team’s defense. It’s no longer just about Lamar running the football. You’ve got so many other guys you have to worry about.”

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