Lamar Jackson showing positive signs for the future

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 20: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up before a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 20, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 20: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up before a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 20, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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It’s hard to judge what the Ravens are going to get from Lamar Jackson as their next franchise quarterback based on his unique role in the offense. There are still positive signs:

Lamar Jackson is showing some positive signs for the future. While he has only gotten to throw the football 12 times he has shown some positives as a quarterback. In garbage time against the Carolina Panthers he led a very impressive touchdown drive. Jackson finished the drive with a very impressive touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst. It was Jackson’s first big moment as a passer in a regular season game. Jackson went 4-5 for 80 yards and that dime of a touchdown pass. Against the Steelers, Jackson only had one pass. He completed it for 12 yards.

Jackson has pretty much been the Ravens rushing attack. The Ravens haven’t been able to do much on the ground without their backup quarterback on the field. Jackson averages five yards per rushing attempt and he’s broken some of the biggest rushing plays for Baltimore. There are a couple of positives we can take from this.

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First, Jackson is a team player. He will do whatever the Baltimore Ravens ask him to do. He’s a quarterback. While he waits to take the job from Joe Flacco, he is playing an important role in Flacco’s offense. Secondly, Jackson has gotten comfortable on the NFL stage. You can see dramatic differences between him in the preseason and even early in the regular season.

When Jackson has the opportunity to throw the football, it is coming a lot more naturally now. The Panthers game was a sign that the game was starting to come to him a little quicker. His problem in the preseason seemed to be that he was trying too hard as a passer and he was in his head. Now he’s just going out there and playing football. Before the season he looked nowhere near ready. He may not be fully ready now, but who doesn’t want to see what he can do?

If Jackson is the future, it would be a great idea for the Ravens to get him some experience as a starting quarterback. This could build some hope for the next season and salvage a little more fun for the 2018 run. More importantly, it would allow Eric DeCosta a chance to see what he has to work with. Seeing Jackson play as a full fledged quarterback could tell the Ravens new general manager, the pieces that Jackson needs around him.

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The very idea that I’m calling for Jackson to get some time under center is an encouraging one. Flacco is not having a bad season, especially by his standards. Jackson didn’t look even remotely ready before the regular season began. Now all of the sudden, it seems like a good idea to give Flacco some time on the bench, and Jackson some time to show what he’s got.

I was originally worried that prematurely going with Jackson would negatively affect the future. At this point, I feel confident that Jackson would only learn and grow from more experience as a quarterback, however it goes. He’s been really impressive, even if it hasn’t been in a traditional role in the offense.