Lamar Jackson Is Special

Remember when dopes were saying he should be a wide receiver?

Jim Rome
October 21, 2019 - 12:21 pm
Lamar Jackson

USA Today


Saying Lamar Jackson would be better as a wide receiver than as a quarterback in the NFL was a terrible take at the time and it’s even worse now. And there will come a day where I don’t reset that because it’s been pretty well beaten into the ground, but today is not that day. Because it was a terrible take then and it’s still somehow getting worse by the week.

Especially after Baltimore’s 30-16 statement in Seattle. There is nothing cornier than the concept of a “revenge game” but there is no doubt that Earl Thomas wanted that game badly. In case you don’t remember him flipping off Pete Carroll last season, things did not end well for him in Seattle. So he went to Baltimore and then came back to Seattle looking to eat. 

It’s hard to imagine anything ever coming close to the exhilaration of winning a Super Bowl, but I’m guessing that Earl’s day yesterday came pretty damn close. If you’re thinking that coming back and sticking it to Pete, in his face, had to feel pretty good, you’re wrong. Because Earl said afterwards, it felt great. In fact, it felt better than great; according to Earl, it was “the best feeling in the world.”

And you know he loved seeing Marcus Peters coming from Los Angeles to Baltimore and then going pick 6 to Seattle.

And you know Earl also loved seeing Marlon Humphrey return a fumble for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

But the truth is, yesterday wasn’t just about Earl Thomas and the Ravens defense. It’s about Lamar Jackson.

He’s still not a receiver, but he’s definitely a passer and a runner, and a leader. Listen to him talking after the game about what he told Earl Thomas.

He did that and they did that. And they went across the country, to face off against another MVP candidate – that’s right, I said another MVP candidate because you have to include Lamar Jackson in that way too early and oh so ridiculous debate at this point – and they beat a team that used to be really tough to be in their own place. And Lamar just outplayed Russ, in his house, when no one was playing the position better than Russ coming in. 

The proof of Jackson’s effectiveness yesterday isn’t going to be in the numbers. He had 116 yards rushing on 14 carries and 143 yards passing. Really good, but those numbers aren’t going to blow you away. But it’s very clear he left a mark on Seattle defense.

There was his play on fourth down where he scored a touchdown.

But if you want to boil the Lamar Jackson Experience down to one play in Seattle, pick this one. Fourth quarter, holding a one score lead, and facing 3rd and 8 from his own 12. Seahawks fans are going nuts. The Seahawks defense knows that it just needs a stop here and they can flip the entire game. And then this happens.

That was a 30-yard run and he was just running past guys. As Seattle’s KJ Wright said: “Dude is fast. We just got out-ran.”

And Wright isn’t the only Seahawks player who was left picking his jaw, and his jockstrap, up off the ground. Listen to the rest of these quotes.

Jadeveon Clowney: “I always wanted to play against Michael Vick. I guess I got the new era with Lamar Jackson. He did his thing today.”

Quinton Jefferson: “I’m glad we don’t have to play him again.”

Branden Jackson: “Remember on that ’04 ‘Madden’ when you had to stop (Michael) Vick? That’s what it was. He’s just … special. I don’t even know how to explain it. He’s a special talent. We knew he had the arm strength, he’s a pretty accurate thrower. When he gets outside that pocket and turns that corner and puts it on, it’s hard to stop him.”

Two different guys with two different Michael Vick comparisons. One comparing him to the real Vick and the other to the Madden Vick.

And here’s Clowney again: “He might be the fastest guy I ever chased with the ball in his hands. He can make anything happen for that team, and they’re all on the bandwagon with him getting what they’re supposed to be getting out of their quarterback. We got a great one, too.”

The amazing thing about that respect from Seattle’s defense is that a guy just came into their house and beat them. They were helpless to do anything. And they don’t even seem mad or pissed, they just seem amazed. And actually kind of honored to have been on the same field as him.

That’s how you know someone has done something special. The opponent isn’t angry or bent. Seattle isn’t talking about what they could’ve or should’ve done, because they know there was really wasn’t anything they could have done: that they really didn’t have an answer for Lamar, because that answer really doesn’t exist. That they really couldn’t do anything other than just tip the cap, move on, and be glad they don’t have to see him again.

Remember when dopes were saying he should be a wide receiver? Or when there was a debate of whether he was better than Joe Flacco?

The “is Joe Flacco elite” debate can’t believe there was a “Joe Flacco vs. Lamar Jackson” debate.

You want to measure Lamar Jackson’s impact? Don’t look at the numbers, even though they’re good. Don’t look at the team record, even though it’s good. Don’t even look at the other talent on that offense or the fact that they’re banged up, just listen to those quotes from opponents. That’s how you know. And if you didn’t know by now, that’s on you. Not on Lamar Jackson. Because this dude is a Phenom. And I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next.

Just to watch and here these elite players of Lamar is amazing. These dudes are the biggest alpha’s in the world, and they are all good with propping these guys. That’s Vick, Moss, Barry, Deion stuff there. Real recognizes real. And Lamar is a special special dude.