For the second straight game, Lamar Jackson was impressive on the field just enough for the Baltimore Ravens to go 2-0 and put themselves right in the thick of things to qualify for the playoffs.
Despite showing off his arm a lot more in his second start, Jackson is still being labeled the same way every Black QB with speed has been labeled since forever. His Baltimore Ravens teammates like what they see in him and they are well aware of the stereotypes that are being thrown his way.
Here is what they had to say to SI:
“It was a play that was called back for holding, on a drive that ended in a fourth-quarter punt. On third-and-7, Jackson faked a handoff to Ty Montgomery and flicked a rainbow to a sprinting John Brown—one of the fastest men on any NFL field—and hit his tightly covered receiver in the bread basket some 45 yards down the right sideline.
“He wanted to be able to show he can throw the deep ball too,” Brown said. “We talk about that a lot, and other teams talk about it. I think he wanted to prove his point, and he proved it. And he’s going to keep proving it.”
“That penalty cost us that play, but it just shows you his potential,” said veteran Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. “To put that throw on a guy that runs like that [Brown]… that’s really good.”
“It’s kind of hard to listen to the TV when they question his ability to throw the ball, because he can throw the ball,” Montgomery said. “His running ability overshadows his arm for whatever reason, but you saw today he was putting throws on the money and trusting his instincts. They’re always going to second guess him.”
“Any black quarterback, especially with that type of speed, will get labeled that he can’t throw,” Smith says, “but he can throw.”
“Who cares what the outside thinks? Just be you,” says safety Eric Weddle. “We want you to be Lamar Jackson. The quicker players learn not to care what the outside thinks, usually the sooner guys stop caring what the outside thinks, they usually have good long careers.”
Eric Weddle’s quote is what the franchise wants him to be and to do it confidently, nevermind the outside noise.