Lamar Jackson has quickly emerged as one of the game’s best players after his breakout 2019 campaign. The Baltimore Ravens star quarterback has stayed motivated to prove his doubters wrong that has seen him lead the franchise to tremendous success. The focus has shifted to what improvements he can make to remain an elite factor in the league. With that in mind, Jackson has a clear message for his opponents next season.
Lamar Jackson’ 2019 season
In Lamar Jackson’s first full season as a starting quarterback, he put forth a record-breaking campaign.
Beyond setting the single-season rushing mark for a quarterback with 1,206 yards, he proved to be more than a capable passer with 36 touchdowns passes to six interceptions, first with an 81.9 quarterback rating, and held a 113.3 passer rating. Jackson was the driving force to the league’s highest-scoring offense that was the first team to average more than 200 rushing yards per game. He was also the first player to notch at least 30 touchdowns passes and 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.
All of that helped him become the second player in league history to earn the regular-season MVP unanimously. With the 2020 season nearing closer, Jackson is well aware of what he needs to do to stay on top.
Lamar Jackson’s mindset for 2020 campaign
Coming off his breakout season, Lamar Jackson has tremendous expectations heading into next year.
Jackson put forth record-breaking production, which will draw a significant amount of attention to detail from opponents moving forward to limit his effectiveness. It’s something that the 23-year-old is keenly aware of as he told Ravens quarterbacks coach Joshua Harris that he knows the target is on his back and he’s preparing for the defensive adjustments, according to Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report.
We had this conversation when I first saw him this offseason,” Harris said. “I told him, ‘Well, now you know you’re the MVP.’ He looked at me strangely because we never talk about accolades. He responded, ‘What do you mean, Coach?’ He might have been a target before because he’s the quarterback, but he’s going to have a huge target on his back, and they’re going to prepare more for your game.
“He explicitly said to me, ‘They’re preparing for me, but I’m preparing more for them. I’m going to keep a chip on my shoulder.’ He remembers being in that room before becoming the 32nd overall pick. That fuels all of his preparation and where his mindset is. He doesn’t see himself as the MVP; he sees himself as the fifth quarterback taken in his draft class.”
The Ravens’ star quarterback is more than used to the doubters that has helped fuel him to get this point. That has been critical in helping push himself forward to become the youngest NFL MVP winner. His personal drive has guided toward stardom and given him an extra gear to take his game to greater heights.
Lamar Jackson chance to prove doubters wrong…again
With a full year under his belt as the starting quarterback, it has pushed Lamar Jackson into a critical offseason where the pressure will be on him to maintain his success on the field.
That will require adjustments and improvements to his game to stay on his steady rise. Opposing teams will be gearing to make him throw more than ever before, which will test his ability to make more plays with his arm. Jackson has incredible talent as a runner, but what will get him and the Ravens to the next level will be his skill passing the ball.
Since falling to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round, the doubt has been there providing him that extra motivation to prove those critics wrong. It’s on his shoulders to continue to perfect his craft and become a more complete quarterback that can remain a nightmare to game plan against for an opposing defensive coordinator.