After it was reported that the Ravens are likely to start rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson again this week against the Falcons, four-time Pro Bowler Michael Vick advised Jackson to "proceed with caution" when it comes to running the ball as much as he has in the NFL. Ravens QB Joe Flacco continues to nurse a hip injury and Jackson has been promoted in his absence.
Vick, who owns the record with 6,109 yards rushing by a quarterback, told ESPN on Tuesday that he thinks the ideal number of runs per game for Jackson is somewhere between 10 and 12. Jackson rushed 26 times for 119 yards in his first NFL start, which is the most by a quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
He only threw for 150 yards that same game and snapped the team's three-game losing streak with a 24–21 victory over the Bengals on Nov. 18.
"With quarterbacks, we're not used to getting hit all the time," Vick told ESPN. "When we do it, it can either get you into the game or it can shake you up a little bit. It's not like a guy sitting in the pocket, you run the risk of getting injured. I'm not saying that should deter Lamar or scare him; I'm just saying proceed with caution."
The Louisville product and former Heisman winner contributed another 71 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the team's 34–17 win over Oakland last week. The Ravens, who had averaged just 92.7 rushing yards in nine games with Flacco under center, are now averaging 254.5 yards on the ground through two games starting Jackson.
Vick said that Jackson has the "best chance" to surpass him to finish as the the NFL's all-time leading running quarterback.
"It will take a lot," Vick said Tuesday. "It will take a season where he rushes for 1,000 yards. It'll take a season where he breaks an overtime run for 65 yards. All records are made to be broken."
The former Falcons' QB added that he never ran the ball more than 15 times in a game, finishing with double-digit carries in only 25 of the 143 games he played. His 873 career runs, however, did take a toll on Vick.
"Later on in my career, I did feel it more," he added. "It took a longer time for my legs to come back. Six-thousand yards are a lot, but I'm in the record books."
Vick also noted that Carolina QB Cam Newton, who has 4,737 rushing yards already, is likely to break his record before the 21-year-old Jackson does. He said that Jackson might be chasing Newton's record after Newton breaks Vick's.