John Harbaugh praises Lamar Jackson: Already made ‘big jump’ in key areas

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

John Harbaugh has been effusive in his praise of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ever since rookie minicamp. Now that the Baltimore Ravens have completed come OTA practices, the head coach is even more impressed with what he’s seeing on a daily basis from the former Heisman winner.

On Friday, Harbaugh highlighted two key areas in which Jackson has made a “big jump.”

“I would say he’s made a big jump in calling the plays and annunciating the offense,” Harbaugh said, per the team’s website. “He’s done well with that.”

Jackson has been very impressive throwing the ball as well and has been showing steady improvement. Ryan Mink, who writes for the team’s website, wrote, “Jackson seemed to throw the ball even better in Thursday’s practice.”

“He was particularly strong in red-zone drills, where he lofted a perfect back-shoulder throw to rookie receiver Jaleel Scott and zipped a few throws into tight windows,” Mink added. “Jackson also had a nice throw to the sideline for Scott and continued to have a good connection with his rookie tight ends.”

The Ravens have made it clear that Jackson will be more than just a clipboard holder this season, even as Joe Flacco remains entrenched as the starter. It’s going to be fascinating to see how they utilize this phenomenally gifted rookie, who has abilities as a runner most top receivers and backs couldn’t dream of.

That said, it’s very encouraging that Jackson is picking up things so quickly as a pure quarterback, where he’ll make his mark long term in the NFL.