Try telling a Heisman Trophy winner he isn’t good enough to keep playing his position anymore. They aren’t going to take it lying down. In a report published on Sporting News, Lamar Jackson addressed doubts about his ability to play the quarterback position in the NFL.
The Louisville quarterback wowed fans, analysts and ACC defenses last season with his ability to throw, run, and throw on the run. But many felt the fact that he worked primarily out of the shotgun, and was quick to tuck the ball and run would be an issue beyond the FBS.
Naturally, Jackson doesn’t think so.
“I can throw with the best of them. I don’t know how many touchdowns I threw, but I threw a lot. That’s the biggest one that gets me.”
Indeed, Jackson has shown all the arm strength you might need to be able to play the game at the highest level. But questions exist about his ability to fit the ball into tight spaces. Man coverage will tighten considerably in the NFL, and some wonder if the smaller window and faster paced game will render the Cardinals pivot ineffective against the best in the world.
With world-class athleticism, many believe he should begin making the transition to wide reciever now.
Instead, he’s getting the support of the program he helped elevate last season. The Cardinals are expected to run a more pro style offense this year, and Jackson will work from under center more often. He’ll be asked to read the defense more, and take off running less.
Scramble first quarterbacks tend to have short careers in the NFL. Players hit harder, and if defensive coordinators know that they can pressure you into running, they’ve effectively forced a one-dimensional offense on the other end.
Jackson certainly isn’t lacking in confidence or athleticism. He’s returning to Louisville and looks to fine tune the points of his game that pro ball coaches are looking for most. This is a “prove it” year for Lamar Jackson, and he intends to do just that.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Lamar Jackson