What Devin McCourty Has Seen In Lamar Jackson’s Development

Jackson is second among quarterbacks in rushing yards after two games

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September 21

FOXBORO, Mass. — Lamar Jackson continues to put up numbers just two weeks into the 2022 NFL season, and of course, it’s not lost on the New England Patriots heading into their Week 3 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.

Jackson’s status for the game is clear after early doubt of his availability. The Patriots had a look at the 2019 NFL MVP heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, and there was concern at the time over Jackson’s ability to throw from the pocket. Quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen were chosen ahead of Jackson, who was taken at No. 32 overall in the first round.

Allen and Jackson have proven to be a tier above their fellow first-round quarterback selections. Before Wednesday’s practice, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if Jackson had proven he had overcome concerns of his ability as a pocket passer.

“Without a doubt. It’s the type of the player, the MVP type of candidate,” Belichick said. “I think he’s more than answered them. But, we’ll see what his contract is, that will answer them.”

The Ravens have utilized their signal caller’s dual-threat ability extremely well, causing headaches for defensive coaches and players. After practice, safety Devin McCourty explained how Jackson has gotten better year after year.

“The hard thing with him is he got better,” McCourty said. “You watch him sit in the pocket a lot more, patient, but I think the hardest thing is him reading the defense. When you’re in zone, you can see he sees that. … When you’re in man, he still wants to keep his eyes downfield, but if that lane opens up and he sees all the routes going in the other direction, he knows it’s trouble for you. And you’ll see him take off, and you’ll see big plays like that happen. Each year when you talk about these quarterbacks that were younger a year ago, you’re starting to see — whether it’s him, Josh Allen — the mental part of the game comes so much easier for him. And they’ve been in the same offenses, doing the same thing over and over again, year in and year out. It’s dangerous.”

Baltimore has used different methods to put their playmakers in the best spot, and it’ll be up to Belichick and his staff to find a way to slow Jackson and the Ravens down to have a chance at their second straight win.

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