Bill Belichick: Lamar Jackson 'Without a Doubt' Has Proven Himself as Pocket Passer

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2022

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One of the debates about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson early in his career was whether he could be an effective passer in the pocket. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick believes he's more than proven himself in that regard ahead of the matchup between the two teams this weekend.

"Without a doubt. He's the type of player that's an MVP type of candidate," he told reporters. "I think he's more than answered it. Wait and see what his contract is. That'll answer it."

Evan Lazar @ezlazar

Belichick said that Lamar Jackson visited the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Patriots?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Patriots</a> before the 2018 draft. Belichick adds that Lamar is, "an MVP-type of candidate."

Jackson, 25, long ago answered any questions about his arm. Belichick referenced his MVP season in 2019, when he threw for 3127 yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions, completing 66.1 percent of his passes.

While Jackson hasn't hit on those numbers in each of the past two seasons, he's off to a strong start in 2022, throwing for 531 yards, six touchdowns and an interception in two games. That puts him on pace for 4,513 yards and 51 touchdowns in a full 17-game season.

He isn't going to hit either mark, more than likely. But with Jackson entering free agency after this season, it wouldn't be shocking to see him put up elite production and sign a massive contract with the Ravens.

Jackson's ability to make plays with his arm has often been overshadowed by his incredible running ability throughout his career. He's rushed for over 1,000 yards in two separate seasons and already has 136 rushing yards and a score in 2022.

That means Belichick and the Patriots defense will have their hands full trying to defend him on Sunday.

It's a big game for both teams, who have each started the season 1-1, and Jackson's performance will likely play a huge part in the outcome. Don't expect the Pats to underestimate Jackson's ability to beat them with his arm.


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