Lamar Jackson and Joe Flacco were comparative passers as rookies
Putting it all together:
People forget that the beginning of Flacco’s career was filled with stability. Cam Cameron didn’t get fired until desperation kicked in during the 2012 season. Flacco went into his first five seasons with the same offense and he was able to grow within it. From that point on, the Ravens went through offensive coordinators like the cookie monster can go through cookies. Flacco was steadily brought up through the years. The Ravens have to do the same thing with Jackson. When they truly install Greg Roman’s offense, they have to hope that it’s the offense that can get Jackson through the first big chunk of his career.
Yesterday, I wrote that keeping expectations for Jackson realistic was the key. Jackson started off strong. The team won six out of seven regular season games with him under center. He made plays with his legs and he did more with his arm than he gets credit for. If Jackson shows steady improvement, the Ravens are investing their time and efforts in Jackson, not wasting them. Quarterback is not only the most important position but it is also the hardest position to master. First and second year quarterbacks all have similar issues and problems. The fact that Flacco and Jackson’s early passing stats are fairly similar is a reassuring thought.
While every young quarterback has challenges learning to become a true NFL passer, Jackson has shown flashes that he is one of the special ones. The team rallied behind him in 2019, and that is not something every young quarterback gets. Jackson is a winner. When Jackson hit Mark Andrews for a long touchdown that ended up being a game winner in Los Angeles, that was a big moment. When Jackson’s Ravens went toe to toe with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, that was a big moment (even in defeat). When Jackson heated up and gave the Ravens a chance for a playoff comeback, that was a sign that greater things were coming in the future. Jackson is a developing quarterback, but he could be the spark plug of the Ravens’ future.