Former NFL player Bart Scott said that Lamar Jackson’s “inability to really beat teams within the pocket” will not lead Ravens to the playoffs.
After a prolonged stay out of the team due to injury, Jackson is back with the team and is looking like his pre-injury self. But with playoffs on the horizon, it remains to be seen whether the quarterback is consistent enough to guide the team to the playoffs.
Scott has raised questions about Jackson’s ability to do so. Speaking on Get Up, he said:
“Lamar is doing what he has always done. I don’t see any innovation from Greg Roman in trying to evolve his offense, being able to push the ball down the field. I think ‘Hollywood Brown’ has been a huge disappointment.
“Willy C had the audacity to complain about not getting some attempts at him last year. He has been able to be effective with his legs and do what Lamar Jackson does.”
The former player expects Lamar to falter against “playoff-caliber teams”.
“But in the Playoffs, the competition is different. You’re playing against playoff-caliber teams. Now I understand Cleveland is that. But that is like playing little brother.
“You understand and know that team better than any other team because you play them so often. I’m concerned with Lamar Jackson’s lack of weapons and the inability to really beat teams within the pocket.
“And until he wins a playoff game, I think that you have to make sure that you pick up his options.”
Not only is a playoff spot on the line for the Ravens’ quarterback but his contract might also be determined by his performances in the coming weeks, says Scott.
“But you don’t give him the Mahomes deal. You tell Lamar, ‘Hey we’re going to give you Amari Cooper and see if you can take him to the next level because the league is going to always continue to catch up.
“And I think when you go out there and you know you don’t have to put two safeties deep, you know to put another safety in the box and see what (at that time) the San Diego Chargers did, to put more athletes who can play it safe, that is going to be the recipe to stop Lamar.
“And if this team falls behind, can Lamar Jackson win a playoff game by throwing from within the pocket.
“That remains to be seen, and I think the answer is no. They have to win a certain type of way and they have a small margin for error.”