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MNF's Joe Buck, Troy Aikman: Pressure on Lamar Jackson to Bounce Back

Jackson looking to have bounce-back year.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson didn't have the type of season he envisioned in 2021.

He's vowed to have a bounce-back year. 

Monday Night Football's Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are looking forward to how Jackson responds. He also will have to make adjustments without wide receiver Marquise Brown, a former first-round pick that was traded to the Cardinals this offseason. 

"This is a big year for him," Buck said. "It's obviously a big year for the Ravens. They're a really good team, and by all accounts, time will tell. They had a great draft and have added a lot of talent. They did lose Hollywood, so we'll see how that all shakes out.

"But I think there's a bit of pressure on him to kind of erase what happened in the second half of last year, and who knows how healthy he was. A lot of times you watch somebody perform all year, and then it comes out that, oh, yeah, well, they had a torn this or a broken that and they just played through it, and there are a lot of examples with that.

"We don't know, I think, the extent of how hurt he was in the back end of that last year, but man, standing in that booth and watching him do what he does when he's right, there's only one Lamar Jackson. And to see his speed, his ability to cut, I mean, it just looks like there's somebody playing at a different speed.

"I for one as a football fan, and as a John Harbaugh fan, hope that he gets back to that. I assume he will, and then we'll see where they go on the outside without Hollywood Brown."

Lamar Jackson is poised to have bounce-back year. 

Lamar Jackson is poised to have bounce-back year. 

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Jackson, who won NFL MVP in 2019, played just 12 games last season because of an illness against the Bears and an ankle injury he suffered against the Browns. He threw for 2,882 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The Ravens already exercised Jackson's fifth-year option that will pay him $23.02 million this season. Baltimore is trying to reach a long-term deal with him

"It's interesting, I think when you get to this position and you're trying to figure out what are you going to do at the quarterback position, are you going to extend him; what goes into that," Aikman said. "There's a lot that goes into that that we don't see. I don't know what all is going on there behind the scenes, but the offense is a little unique, especially for wide receivers, as we know.

"They're not a team that's going to throw the ball like some other teams are going to, and does that affect them, and being able to get some guys to come in, I don't know.

The Ravens dealt with a slew of injuries and finished the season 8-9, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

The team is hopeful to get back those key playmakers that were injured last season, including running backs J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters and left tackle Ronnie Stanley, among others.  

"When we've covered Baltimore, Lamar is just one of those players that's just so different than everybody else," Aikman said. "We've seen great players at that position who can do great things running and throwing the ball. But this guy is special, and we've seen it when we've covered those games.