During the Pro Bowl last month, Jackson talked about improving in 2020, and was an open book as it relates to that. As he said in a piece by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Jackson is ready, motivated and willing to improve in any way possible, and nothing is off the table.
Here’s what he said:
“Asked what he needs to improve upon as a passer, Jackson said, “Everything. I’m not the best, I’m not the greatest. I’m going into my third year, and I’m trying to get somewhere. I’m trying to get to the Super Bowl. So I gotta work on everything.”
At the start of the season, there were questions about whether Jackson could become a legitimate passer in the NFL. He responded by leading the league with 36 touchdown passes and finishing third with a 113.3 passer rating.”
Jackson was elite last season, so to think he isn’t resting on his laurels is great news. Clearly, he’s more motivated than ever to remain elite.
Lamar Jackson Takes Home Major Award
Recently, Jackson was named Pro Football Focus Offensive Player of the Year. The site cast their vote and Jackson got the honor for what he was able to do on the field in a record smashing 2019 season.
Here’s a look at what writer Sam Monson wrote in the piece as to what tipped the scales for everyone at PFF in terms of Jackson being the top offensive player this season:
“The logic is simply that no player had as big of an impact on offense as Jackson did this season. We knew what a special ball carrier he was and saw how easily that translated to the NFL in his rookie year, but nothing quite prepared us for his 2019 season.
Jackson spent a career at Louisville embarrassing college defenders with his running ability while also passing to good effect, and he secured the Heisman Trophy in 2016 as a result. At the NFL level, that running ability was an immediate like-for-like translation, but the passing took more time.
When we analyzed our ball location data from PFF’s QB Annual a season ago, we could see that Jackson was among the least accurate passers in football. Whatever way you sliced the numbers (adjusting for drops, depth of target, situation, etc.), his passing was an issue. However, he was so spectacular as a rushing threat that the offense still functioned even with that level of passing, though it did put a fairly firm cap on how good he could be without improvement in that area.
What few saw coming, though, was Jackson’s spectacular improvement as a passer in 2019. He led the league in passing touchdowns, had a top-10 completion percentage and owned the third-best passer rating, and that’s just on a box score level. Of course, we know those can lie, but in this case, they are backed up by the tape.”
The fact that Jackson took a leap forward as both a passer and a runner was a huge fact on display all year, and possibly the biggest reason he took home plenty of awards this offseason.
It’s scary to think he is going to get even better.
Lamar Jackson Stats
This past 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 last week, Jackson has put up 3,127 passing yards and 36 touchdowns through the air. On the ground, he has rumbled for 1,206 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 types 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. The fact that he was a shoo-in as an All-Pro is a testament to how good Jackson has been in 2019.
If he stays hungry as it seems he will to improve, look out.