Ravens' John Harbaugh: Anonymous Lamar Jackson Criticism Is a 'Big Nothing Burger'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 27, 2022

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh answers questions from the media at the NFL football team's training camp in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, July 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
AP Photo/Gail Burton

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is completely unconcerned with recent anonymous criticisms of quarterback Lamar Jackson, to the point where he called the remarks a "big nothing burger."

"I don't know who this guy named anonymous is," Harbaugh said, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

"I haven't met him yet. I don't even know why we report on what he has to say. It is what it is. It's just baloney. It's a big nothing burger."

The most pointed anonymous comments were from an NFL defensive coordinator, who was interviewed by Mike Sando as part of The Athletic's latest NFL quarterbacks tiers.

"If he has to pass to win the game, they ain't winning the game," the coordinator said.

"He's so unique as an athlete and he's really a good football player, but I don't (care) if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don't think he'll ever be a 1 as a quarterback. He'll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two-minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss."

An offensive coach also said that Jackson struggles with identifying coverages and making pre-snap reads:

"I think what we saw with Lamar, starting with the Miami game and carrying through the rest of the season, was someone who struggled to identify coverages and make pre-snap reads. He is still a really dynamic player, brings something different to the group, but by and large, is going to have to continue to improve as a passer in order go deep in the playoffs and put himself in the Tier 1 group."

Jackson was ultimately ranked No. 10 overall among all quarterbacks and within the second tier of signal-callers in the NFL.

The 2019 NFL MVP has been the Ravens' starter for three-plus seasons. Under his leadership, Baltimore has made the playoffs three times, including a pair of AFC North titles. He's accounted for 105 touchdowns (84 passing, 21 rushing) over 58 regular-season games.

Last year was a bit of a down season for Jackson, who threw a career-high 13 interceptions alongside 16 touchdowns. He still led the Ravens to a 7-5 record before suffering a season-ending bone bruise (ankle).

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Jackson will look to lead the Ravens back to the playoffs after they missed out last year with an 8-9 record.

Baltimore's offense features a few changes, with running back J.K. Dobbins returning from a torn ACL that kept him out all of 2021 and wide receiver Rashod Bateman emerging as the team's de facto No. 1 wideout with Marquise Brown traded to the Arizona Cardinals.

Still, if Jackson performs to his potential, the Ravens could easily reemerge as an AFC powerhouse once again.