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Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson won an MVP and won 37 games as the team’s starting quarterback since he took the reins in 2018 and is next in line to receive a lucrative contract extension.
However, he’s still receiving criticism from figures in the NFL. One anonymous defensive coordinator wasn’t completely sold on him or his abilities as a quarterback and suggested he would never be considered as a Tier 1 type of quarterback.
Dec 5, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) prepares to throw the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 20-19. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game,” the defensive coordinator told The Athletic in a story published Monday. “He’s so unique as an athlete and he’s really a good football player, but I don’t (care) if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be a 1 as a quarterback.
“He’ll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two-minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines in the third quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium on Jan. 2, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Another NFL defensive coordinator told The Athletic they could see him as a Tier 1 or Tier 3 level quarterback, and it would be a mistake not to account for him on the football field.
But, the coach said, Jackson dropping back and slinging the ball “it is not the same” as him running play-action on offense.
Jackson is entering the fifth season of his rookie deal without a long-term extension.
Dec 5, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Jackson was the 2019 NFL MVP after his second full season. Last year, he battled injuries and only managed to play 12 games. He threw for 2,882 yards, 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, adding 767 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Ryan Gaydos is the sports editor for Fox News and Fox Business. Story tips can be sent to Ryan.Gaydos@fox.com.