Lamar Jackson: “I’m trying to score touchdowns - I’m trying to win the game”

07 December 2018 05:39
The Ravens will play in their first regular season game at home on Sunday against the Bills. For rookies Authentic Za'Darius Smith Jersey , this is often a magical time where they get to fully experience the sights and pageantry that come with an NFL game. For Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, the excitement is definitely there. “I don’t really have any emotions,” Jackson said about playing in his first NFL regular season game on Sunday. “I’m looking forward to it - I’m excited about it.”Jackson has had to learn swiftly. In the Hall of Fame Game against the Chicago Bears, he was constantly chased by defensive linemen and linebackers. In college, Jackson would be able to outrun them, but things are much different in the NFL and Jackson has learned that in his short time as a pro.“Learn fast, it’s a grown man’s game,” said Jackson. “That’s all so far.”Jackson has had to learn a new role with the Ravens. Usually, he has lined up at quarterback, but he has played in other places. It’s all still fresh to the 21-year old and he wants to take it one step at a time. “I’m pretty cool with it,” Jackson said. “I’m still learning - it’s just a learning process for me still. It’s a huge step for me coming into the league. So, I’m just sitting back learning as much as I can, until my number is called.”Robert Griffin III made the team along with Jackson and Joe Flacco. For the first time in awhile, Baltimore will carry three quarterbacks. The reason is seemingly to help groom Jackson into the eventual starter. Learning from Griffin III is welcome from the 2016 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.“That’s pretty cool,” Jackson exclaimed. “Another Heisman winner in the house. So, yeah definitely [excited].”Griffin III has been a big help to Jackson. As a fellow Heisman winner and a dual-threat quarterback, Griffin III has been like an older brother to Jackson. The elder Griffin III has been able to take Jackson under his wing to teach him the rights and wrongs of plays on the practice field and during games. “Just going by certain plays and stuff like that,” Jackson said of Griffin III’s help. “If I mess up on a play Youth Maurice Canady Jersey , he’ll tell me where he would’ve went on a certain play and stuff like that.”No one really knows if Jackson will play against the Bills. As things have gone with Baltimore’s offense during training camp, Jackson’s athleticism could be used in a number of different ways. He has lined up at several different places on the field, which could potentially be a headache for Buffalo’s defense to defend. Nonetheless, Jackson is looking forward to the opportunity of playing in his first regular season game.“I’ll be very excited,” Jackson said. “I’m trying to score touchdowns - I’m trying to win the game.”Jackson had an eye for the endzone during the preseason, scoring a total of six touchdowns during the preseason. During those games, Jackson faced a litany of players who didn’t make it on an NFL roster. Playing against a first-team pro defense will be different for the rookie. “I don’t know - a few butterflies in my stomach,” said Jackson. “Can’t wait to get that first contact of a real - a true number one defense.”Jackson had to come off of the bench a lot during the preseason, save for his lone start in the final game. The rookie still continued to get his work in and believes that he can be effective as the reserve quarterback or as a weapon on the offense.“I had to deal with it during the preseason,” Jackson said. “I’m looking forward to it.”Jackson has had a steep learning curve as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. In addition to learning the entire offensive scheme, he has had to learn a hybrid position of quarterback/playmaker. The youngster feels that he has adequate knowledge of the playbook to do what is asked of him on Sunday. “Absolutely,” Jackson said. “I’ve been preparing for it through the OTAs, rookie minicamp - I’m just good for it.” After forfeiting a 17-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Ravens allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a field goal en route to losing 24-23 to the New Orleans Saints. In a game where the offense flashed moments of brilliance, but also stretches of ineptitude, Baltimore had every opportunity to win. They ultimately came up short due to a rare Justin Tucker missed the extra point. Baltimore’s defense had gone six games without allowing a second-half touchdown, but that streak was snapped on Sunday. Jimmy Smith had a poor day as he was victimized in coverage on several occasions. Tony Jefferson also struggled in coverage, while the pass-rush was hit or miss. Drew Brees’ quick release effectively countered Baltimore’s pressure for a majority of the day. However , the defense deserves some credit for holding an elite offense to only seven points in three quarters.Below are seven takeaways from the Ravens’ 24-23 loss to New Orleans.1. Deja Vu?Under Dean Pees, Baltimore’s defense was notorious for giving up fourth-quarter leads. Six games into the Don ‘Wink’ Martindale era, the trends showed that the Ravens’ defense would finish games strong. In their seventh game, it was a different story. They allowed 17 total points, and 114 yards on four drives — including a one-play kneel down and a drive that started in the third quarter and extended into the fourth. Unlike Pees’ fourth-quarter tendencies, Martindale was more aggressive, yet Brees picked their defense apart. Heading into Week 7, Martindale’s aggressiveness had only come back to bite him in one game thus far. However, it was clear Brees cracked the code in the fourth quarter. 2. Clutch gene Joe Flacco finished with 279 yards, two touchdowns, and an impressive 7.2 yards per attempt. He was far from perfect in this game as he had several plays where he was inaccurate, but when it mattered most, Flacco was at his best. On the final drive, he went 6-for-6 (incompletion to Mark Andrews was waived off by a penalty) for 66 yards and a touchdown. Flacco was locked in on that series, but a missed extra point by Justin Tucker will be the biggest takeaway from this game.3. Put the pedal to the metalThe Ravens were leading for a majority of this game, but late in the third quarter and for much of the fourth quarter, the offensive play calling was entirely too conservative. Instead of trying to build upon their lead, Baltimore seemingly attempted to chew time off of the clock. Against premier teams in the NFL James Hurst Jersey , this strategy will not bode well. Mornhinweg’s ‘vanilla play calling’ haunted the Ravens as they were unable to extend drives in a game where New Orleans was dominating the time of possession. Baltimore only had eight drives, and they failed to make the most of their limited opportunities. 4. CopycatA couple of weeks ago, I broke down what Baltimore could learn from the Saints’ use of Taysom Hill. In the last two weeks, Lamar Jackson has made a couple of splash plays from these packages. Against the Titans, Jackson had a 22-yard run that nearly resulted in a touchdown. One week later, he scored his first NFL touchdown. The Ravens’ use of Jackson has evolved since Week 1, and it has helped their offense immensely. Mornhinweg has shown theiropponents different looks, even plays where Jackson would attempt a pass. These different concepts have forced defenses to respect Jackson’s arm, and in turn, if he hands the ball off to a running back, they have more space. 5. New offensive line combination, no problemIn an unexpected move, right tackle James Hurst was inactive for Week 7. This forced the Ravens to start two rookie offensive lineman. Despite extremely low expectations, Bradley Bozeman and Orlando Brown Jr. held their own. Each of them struggled during stretches of the game, but it was a solid showing for both of them. Bozeman outplayed veteran guard Hroniss Grasu, who played left guard when the rookie left the game a couple of times due to an injury. With Alex Lewis’ timetable to return still unclear, Baltimore’s offensive line is in good hands. The run-blocking was significantly improved this week, while the pass-protection was stellar. They only allowed one sack Authentic Marlon Humphrey Jersey , and it was partly a result of the outstanding coverage downfield. 6. No time to panic, yetThe Saints are Super Bowl contenders with an incredibly talented offense. Baltimore stood toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the NFL. The Ravens were an extra point away from likely sending the game to overtime. Baltimore showed they can hang toe to toe with anyone in the league, and if Martindale can strike a better balance defensively, they will be a team no one wants to face in January. Offensively, Baltimore had mild success running the football against the best-run defense in the league, while also displaying a deadly aerial attack. Moral victories do not exist in the NFL, but the Ravens showed they are not pretenders. Baltimore’s next three games could very well decide the trajectory of their season. They have a difficult road matchup against the Panthers before coming home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, and then the Bengals following their bye week. If the Ravens can go 2-1 or better, they will likely be leading the division. However, if Baltimore goes 1-2 or even 0-3, they may be en route to missing the post-season for the fourth consecutive season. 7. Second half third downs should be the story of the gameJustin Tucker’s miss will dominate the headlines, but blaming one player for the loss is a lackadaisical take. Although there is no disputing that Tucker should have made the extra point, there were plenty of other reasons why Baltimore lost. The Saints dominated the time of possession as they were four-for-seven on third downs in the second half. Baltimore was also 6-for-12 on third downs in the game, but two-for-six on third-downs in the second half. The Ravens’ offense undoubtedly underperformed for most of the fourth quarter.
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