How Lamar Jackson Improved His Accuracy, Scot McCloughan on Drafting Frank Gore

  • 26.11.2019 10:33:56

Anybody who saw Lamar Jackson's spin move touchdown in Cincinnati, or the way he weaved through Houston Texans defenders last week, can clearly see that he's a special athlete. No quarterback – not even Michael Vick –runs the way Lamar runs.

Combine that with an arm that's making every throw in the book, and it's clear that Jackson is a special athlete that stands out in a league full of them.

But besides his athleticism, what makes Jackson special?

I asked that exact question to Jackson's teammates – 17 so far – and here are their answers. You'll definitely see some common themes: 

RB Mark Ingram II
"I just think it's his mindset, his attitude, his focus. You can have the tools and the abilities, but if you don't have the proper mindset, it's really not worth anything. I just think his dedication, his mindset, his competitive nature, that's what separates him."

TE Mark Andrews
"To be honest with you, he just hates to lose. A lot of people say they hate to lose and love winning, but he lives that. He's one-track minded. When he first got here, he said it all the time. Winning Super Bowls is really all he wants. You can definitely see he believes in what he says."

G Marshal Yanda 
"I think it's his approach. He's said that he's just one of the guys, and I definitely feel that about him, as far as, he comes to work every single day, and football is No. 1 in his life. Some guys that come through, they like what the game gives them, but they don't necessarily like the game all the time. This kid loves ball. He loves football. He loves getting better. He's a competitive guy. On Sunday, he's a competitive son of a gun. And that's what you need. If that's your guy, that's what you need. And he definitely has that. So, he's continuing to mature. In your second year, you have a lot of room to grow. I've said this before, but you can make big strides in both directions. Guys can regress; guys can really improve. And he's obviously matured and improved every single game."

WR Willie Snead
"He's a competitor. You have to have something to be a competitor. It's an energy, it's a vibe that you give off that everybody feeds off of. I hate comparing him to Drew [Brees], but Drew was the ultimate competitor in my eyes. To be able to come from that and see Lamar, it's like, 'Yeah, it's the same.' And Lamar is getting better every week. He's going to always have that attitude and that always gives us a chance to win. He can always get better as a quarterback, but you can't take away that competitiveness. That's always going to be there. Losing at anything is just not OK. Drew was just anal when it came to competitive stuff. He just wanted to win. That's how Lamar is. Fourth-and-2, 'I want the ball!'"

QB Robert Griffin III
"We were actually talking about this the other day. The thing that makes him special is the same thing that a lot of teams didn't like about him. It's his playful demeanor. When you get in the NFL, a lot of teams like the cookie cutter, boring answer, 'I've got to go look at the tape' guy. Lamar's personality and demeanor is very playful, he's very real when he talks. He doesn't talk like everybody else and act like everybody else. If you look at his interview and then you go look at Tom Brady's interview or Russell Wilson's interview or Kyler Murray's interview, they're all different, but all those other guys are kinda the same. Lamar's not like that. It's one of the best things the Baltimore Ravens did was allow Lamar Jackson to be himself. Be yourself. There's nothing wrong with that. He doesn't have to change that. He can answer questions the way he wants to answer questions. He can wear his hair the way he wants to wear his hair. I once had a coach tell me I needed to cut my hair off. I think that's the special thing about him is his personality and demeanor fits Baltimore, fits this locker room and, most of all, fits him. This game is so much easier when you're having fun."

TE Nick Boyle
"His personality and easy-goingness. When a play goes wrong or right, you look at him because he's the leader of the offense and he has a smile on his face and ready to move onto the next play. He's not going to yell at everyone, he holds himself accountable. He has this happy calmness that he brings to the team. When things don't go well, he's still OK."

Latest Articles