Recently, in a new piece for The Ringer by Jake Kring-Schreifels, the oral history of the movie Any Given Sunday was presented. It is a phenomenal behind the scenes look at a classic movie for sports fans. In the film, Al Pacino plays one of the legendary fictitious coaches of all time in Tony D’Amato.
A key piece of the movie revolves around D’Amato playing seldom used third string quarterback Willie Beamen, played by Jamie Foxx. Speaking in the piece about Beamen and some of the parallels to real life quarterbacks, Pacino took time out to heap praise on the Baltimore quarterback.
Here’s a look at what he had to say about Jackson:
“I watch this guy Lamar Jackson. There are occasionally these players that are inspiring because you can see the game that they play is a game, and you can actually sense the joy they have in what they do. That’s inspiring. Watching Lamar Jackson is an inspiration to actors. Finding that pocket, finding, where is that joy that gets under you and brings you out? The freedom to let go of the conscious, and get it to the unconscious and fly like he does?
With Willie Beamen, he was put in the background. Lamar was waiting behind Flacco, and I don’t see how he got overlooked. What Lamar’s doing was always there. You can clearly see it. Then you watch how he throws with such accuracy. He seems so comfortable throwing a football, like he’s been doing it all his life.”
Thus far, Jackson has been getting tons of praise for not just his ability to run but his ability to throw the ball. It’s notable Pacino singles out Jackson’s throwing considering many figured he would be better off playing another position in the league due to questions about arm strength. None of those concerns are coming up lately, with Jackson dominating
Those detractors have now been proven wrong, but it’s clear with this take, Pacino was never amongst them in the first place anyhow. Perhaps Pacino would have made a great football coach in real life.
Lamar Jackson NFL MVP Favorite
According to several in league circles behind the scenes, Jackson is the overwhelming favorite for league MVP, and it isn’t exactly close. In an annual piece picking out awards by Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, the writer spoke with several personalities and the votes were close to unanimous for Jackson as the league’s most valuable player.
Here’s a look at what Pellissero wrote about Jackson, who placed well ahead of Russell Wilson in the minds of many who were asked:
“It was a runaway win for Jackson, who received 19 votes to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s five. “He’s just been so unique,” an NFC executive said of Jackson, who has thrown for 2,889 yards and an NFL-high 33 touchdowns while running for a QB-record 1,103 yards in his second season. “The stats alone give him the award, but what he’s done for that team, the energy he’s brought to that city, the energy he’s brought to his whole locker room — they’re just playing on a different level. And no one’s really figured out how to stop him.” The Ravens are 12-2 and on a 10-game winning streak, moving into position for the AFC’s top seed. They overhauled their offense in the offseason under new coordinator Greg Roman to maximize the impact of Jackson’s rare running and playmaking ability. And Jackson has developed as a passer, too. “He puts so much goddamn pressure on you,” an AFC executive said.
Multiple execs who voted for Wilson (28 TDs, 109.3 passer rating) made their case in part on his longevity, since teams have eight years of tape to use in devising a plan against him. Many teams are still facing Jackson, and that scheme, for the first time. “I think Baltimore’s defense has put [Jackson] in a lot of [good] spots,” one GM said, noting that Don Martindale’s ascending unit takes pressure off Jackson and the offense. “If I had to go win a game right now, what quarterback would I take? I’d take Russell Wilson.”
Indeed, Jackson has been a human cheat code much of the season, so it only stands to reason that most feel he will be an easy MVP selection. He’s not only got the numbers, but the silly highlight reel plays which help make such awards a slam dunk in the court of public opinion.
This isn’t to discredit Wilson, who’s also had a great season. Simply, Jackson has been that good and that eye opening to those who pay the closest attention.
Lamar Jackson’s Statistics
This season, Jackson has been the epitome of a dual threat quarterback and one of the leaders in the next generation of quarterbacks that will make waves in the league. After the action concluded this week, Jackson has put up 2,889 passing yards and 33 touchdowns through the air. On the ground, he has rumbled for 1,103 yards and 7 touchdowns. As a whole, the Ravens have managed to find the best of Jackson on the field. Arguably, he’s become the most obvious MVP candidate in the league given these type of things.
Since being drafted out of Louisville, Jackson has begun to rewrite the book in the league in terms of what a quarterback is and can be. These numbers and plays only help to prove that in the end.
Interestingly enough, Jackson also has a major fan in Pacino.
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