Not according to Ben Roethlisberger.
The former longtime Pittsburgh Steelers QB recently critiqued Jackson’s passing game while assessing how opposing teams should try to defend the 26-year-old signal-caller this season.
“You don’t really fear Lamar’s accuracy all the time,” Roethlisberger said on the “Footbahlin” podcast. “He’s got a huge arm, he can make things happen when he scrambles, but you don’t fear him just sitting in the pocket and picking you apart. You bring safeties down because you do fear him running because he’s a different-level runner.”
Roethlisberger, who retired in 2022 after 18 NFL seasons, went on to say that the Ravens’ addition of three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could be a game-changer in terms of helping Jackson have more success downfield.
“It’s a big deal,” Roethlisberger said of Beckham possibly joining forces with Jackson. “That’s a big boost.”
However, it’s still up in the air if Beckham and Jackson will take the field together this fall.
Jackson has requested a trade from Baltimore as talks surrounding a contract extension remain at an impasse. During his introductory press conference Thursday, Beckham said he didn’t get any assurances before signing his one-year deal that the former NFL MVP is staying with the Ravens.
Dynamic duo in Baltimore?
In his press conference after signing with the Ravens, Odell Beckham Jr. told reporters that he received no assurances from the team or Lamar Jackson that the QB would remain with Baltimore. Craig Carton and Gerald McCoy react to OBJ’s comments.
On a recent episode of “Speak,” David Helman called Roethlisberger’s comments “incredibly insulting,” especially considering that Jackson has a better passer rating in the pocket (97.9) than Roethlisberger did (94.2).
“To say that, it implies that Lamar Jackson cannot win as a passer,” Helman said. “If you want to word it differently and say, ‘Lamar Jackson’s dynamic ability as a runner has to be line one when you’re figuring out how to defend him,’ that’s fine. But to say that he can’t hang back in the pocket and pick you apart is blatantly untrue. The stats are the stats.
“A guy that wasn’t as good at it as Lamar has been is saying that he can’t do it. … I think it’s insulting to a guy that [has] been a unanimous MVP.”
Since entering the league in 2018, Jackson has an overall passer rating of 96.7 — 11th-best among qualified QBs (minimum 1,000 pass attempts) — and his 2.66 TD-INT ratio since 2018 is ninth-best in the NFL (ahead of Roethlisberger’s over that span).
Jackson is one of 15 QBs to have 100-plus passing TDs since 2018 and 6.1% of his pass attempts have gone for touchdowns — the fourth-best mark in the league.
He is also the only quarterback in NFL history with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons to his credit.
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Source: FOX Sports