NFL Legend Gives Ravens Advice On Lamar Jackson

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young believes the Baltimore Ravens should cater to Lamar Jackson's passing abilities.
Dec 31, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens  quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson is unquestionably one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks today, but he still has plenty of work to do if he wants to join the all-time greats.

What can he do to get there? Well, one of those all-time greats has an idea.

According to Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, Jackson can reach his full potential as a passer if the Ravens place a greater emphasis on that side of the offense, and they're already on the right track.

“The arc of his career has been slowed by Baltimore’s fanaticism with the run. They have come out of that trance and they’re trying to transition,” Young said on the This is Football podcast. “I thought that Lamar has tried to lead his game into a more sophisticated passing game, which is what he needs to be one of the best that ever played.

"I’m going to take this as a transition season which I thought was very successful. Obviously the championship game was a complete bummer, but it doesn’t negate the advancement that they’ve made as an organization to give Lamar Jackson a chance to be the greatest that every played. He can’t get there unless you allow him to be a sophisticated passer of the football.

Baltimore's aerial attack was notoriously lackluster under former offensive coordinator Greg Roman, notably ranking 27th or lower in passing yards in three of his four seasons at the helm. That side of the offense took a notable step forward under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken last season, as the Ravens finished sixth in passing yards despite calling the highest percentage of running plays in the league. Jackson also set career-highs in completion percentage (67.2 percent) and passing yards (3,678) en route to his second MVP award.

Now that Jackson has a year under his belt in Monken's system, he's expected to take yet another step forward.

While Young, who led the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl title in 1994, would like to see the Ravens give Jackson another weapon, he believes the 27-year-old's potential is still sky-high.

"It's hyperbole, but I want people to understand, what I'm saying is, you're seeing a player that has the potential to be as great as anyone we've ever seen play," Young said. "I really believe that. But he's missing a vital piece of that, and that's a sophisticated passer ... There's been a change in Baltimore's philosophy — and this was the transition year, again — so I expect next year to be an explosive year."

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Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO