Mark Andrews should be catching passes from Lamar Jackson for a long time. The third-year tight end just signed a big deal with the Baltimore Ravens, and the former MVP quarterback is expected to re-up with the team in the near future.
There haven’t been many players in NFL history with the true dual-threat ability that Jackson possesses. At the quarterback position, he’s one of the faster and most athletic players in the league.
He’s been working hard to make strides as a passer. We’ve seen teams effectively limit him at times, especially in the last few postseason losses by the Baltimore Ravens. According to Andrews, there is one thing he already does extremely well: keep his receivers out of trouble.
“The thing about Lamar, people don’t talk about it, he’s always protecting receivers,” he said, via Sarah Ellison. “He doesn’t throw you into a headache. He’s conscious about where he throws the ball, the angle, and leading you into a good spot.”
Ravens’ Mark Andrews on catching passes from Lamar Jackson: “The thing about Lamar – people don’t talk about it – he’s always protecting receivers. He doesn’t throw you into a headache. He’s conscious about where he throws the ball, the angle & leading you into a good spot.”
— Sarah Ellison (@sgellison) September 8, 2021
This is obviously very important, especially with the focus on avoiding concussions and head injuries in the league. An inaccurate quarterback can throw his wide receivers and tight ends into very dangerous situations with defenders coming across the middle.
In recent days, we’ve seen star quarterbacks like Tom Brady discuss just how important this is, saying more of the onus should be on quarterbacks to protect his teammates, instead of enforcing questionable penalties on defensive hits.
“They’ve almost moved the protection of [the defense’s] opponent, to the [defense]. As opposed to where it should be which is on yourself,” he explained. “If you’re a quarterback, you gotta protect yourself and your players. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of your opponent to protect you.”
“It creates really bad habits for players, because you feel like ‘I can basically do anything. I could run and not slide. I could throw my receiver into any coverage and not have any repercussion for it,’” he said. “They only thing they’re going to do is actually they’re going to blame the defensive player for making a good solid hit.
“… It’s really a disservice to the sport, because the sport isn’t being played at a high level that I believe that it once was.”
The fact that Lamar Jackson is receiving major plaudits for this, at just 24, is certainly a good sign.
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