POWER OF NICE
Beyond speed and confidence, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson succeeds with personality
At some point every week, Lamar Jackson strides across the Ravens’ locker room and plops himself beside soft-spoken wide receiver John Brown. They laugh and share videos on their iPhones — no big deal. Remember, however, that Brown is a veteran on a one-year contract, trying to produce well enough to secure his financial future. Since Jackson took over as the Ravens’ quarterback in Week 11, he’s caught just eight passes. In the team’s first nine games with Joe Flacco at quarterback, Brown caught 34.
This could be a recipe for tension. Instead, Jackson and Brown pal around. It’s a pattern that has repeated throughout Jackson’s rise from his Florida youth to stardom at Louisville to the current stage he occupies as the rookie starter for an NFL playoff team. His instinct for reaching out to people is as sharp as his instinct for evading tacklers.
“We’re all we got, really,” he said as the Ravens began preparations to host the Los Angeles Chargers today. “When people doubted us in the middle of the season, we were all we had. People didn’t have our back, so I’m going to talk to my teammates regardless, whether it’s the kicker, the punter. It can be an equipment guy, and I’m going to talk to him, too, definitely.”
When you watch Jackson, it’s easy to be mesmerized by his video-game cuts or his uncanny tendency to deliver sensational plays immediately after he’s made mistakes. His enthusiasm shines through in so many of his actions on the field.
But what if his secret weapon manifests outside the realm admirers and skeptics observe every week? Maybe it’s just as important that Jackson is a nice See JACKSON, page 4