News & Notes: In One Press Conference, Lamar Jackson Shows Why He's So Beloved

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Lamar Jackson couldn't be more likeable if he tried.

Good thing he doesn't try. He's just Lamar.

In one press conference Wednesday afternoon, the day after being named as a starter in the Pro Bowl and with MVP buzz continuing to swirl around him, Jackson showed why he's such a beloved star.

Take, first, his answer about being named to his first Pro Bowl.

"That's pretty cool. Huge accomplishment," Jackson said. "But that's a team award at the end of the day because you can't get individualized with your team working so hard and having so much success. And we had a great group of numbers of guys in the Pro Bowl. It's amazing."

With individual awards that are now rolling in, Jackson was asked whether this season would be a disappointment if the Ravens don't win the Super Bowl.

"I'm not even going to put that in my head, what you just said," Jackson said.

"That's the biggest goal. That's what everyone plays the game for. Everyone wants to get to the big dance, and we're having such a great year – that's where we have to get to. There aren't any 'if's', 'and's' or 'but's' about it. That's the goal ever since OTAs, camp. We're trying to get to that Super Bowl, so I'm not going to put anything else in my mind about not going there."

Jackson went on to say running back Mark Ingram is the "heart of the team," deflecting attention away from himself. He said he would block for the Ravens' offensive linemen if he could because he's so thankful for the work they do protecting him.

Jackson is just 22 years old, in his second season. Last week, he broke Michael Vick's single-season rushing record. He's already in his first Pro Bowl. He just won a weekly award to put himself in the company of Tom Brady and Cam Newton. He's the odds-on favorite to win the MVP.

But Jackson handles each award/accomplishment with pretty much the same attitude and answer. It's "dope," as he often says, but it's not about him.

How does he stay that humble?

"The Lord. I give Him all his praise, the glory, the honor, because without him I could have been doing anything," Jackson said.

"I'll be thinking about it, talking to Him throughout the day like, 'Man, appreciate you. I thank you.' Because, when you feel like you're bigger than the Lord, that's when all that success dies. It goes away. You have to let Him know He's the reason you're having that much success."

Pope Francis, who has an autographed Jackson jersey, would be proud.

What Makes the Ravens So Good on the Road?

After traveling to Cleveland this weekend, the Ravens hope not to have to hit the road again until flying to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.

Baltimore locks up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if it beats the Browns in a rematch of the Ravens' last loss, which came all the way back in Week 4 on Sept. 29.

Getting home-field advantage is certainly top of mind for Ravens players.

"That's a huge deal," veteran guard Marshal Yanda said. "That shouldn't change the way we play, but we obviously understand that's in front of us."

In order to do it, the Ravens need yet another big road win. Baltimore has already pulled off signature wins this season at Pittsburgh, Seattle, Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo.

Baltimore has lost just once on the road this season, coming in Week 3 in Kansas City. The Ravens have never completed a season with just one road loss, meaning they have a chance at more history Sunday.

So what makes the Ravens so good on the road?

It starts with being good, period. The Ravens have also lost just one game at home this season. Harbaugh said the bottom line is playing winning football, and there's a better way to do that on the road.

"The old adage about packing your defense and special teams and ball security and all those things and the run game are really important," Harbaugh said. "We've done that so far, and we have to do it again this week."

Lamar: Mark Ingram Is the 'Heart of the Team'

By now you've surely seen the intensity and fun that Ingram has brought to the Ravens sideline. He's like that all the time.

There are a lot of big personalities in the Ravens locker room, and they all are gelling extremely well right now, but it was interesting to hear Jackson call Ingram the "heart of the team."

"He means a lot to us. He's the heart of the team to me," Jackson said.

"Each and every game, each and every practice, each and every day it's just Mark. And what you guys see on TV is what you get throughout the days, behind the scenes, that's Mark, and we love it. He helps us out a lot. He brings the groove to the team, the excitement." 

Ingram, one of the Ravens' most important offseason signings, was asked about it afterwards, and said he didn't come to Baltimore thinking he had to be "some crazy leader or anything."

"I know they have great leaders and guys who have been here for a number of years who know the program and tradition and the culture here. And those guys just accepted me. They welcomed me with open arms. They allowed me to be myself," Ingram said.

"My coaches and the front office, everybody just told me to be myself. And that's essentially what I do. I don't try to do anything out of the ordinary. I just try to be myself, love all my teammates, love all my coaches, and be the best person I can be. Treat them with respect, treat them with love, and just work my butt off."

John Harbaugh's Coach of the Year Bid Gains Strength

Harbaugh's Coach of the Year candidacy is gaining momentum, and his players are on board.

NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal wrote that he would cast his vote for Harbaugh to be the Coach of the Year, and on Wednesday, Ingram gave his opinion.

Ingram knows a good coach. He was at Alabama with Nick Saban, then spent the first eight years of his NFL career with Sean Payton, who was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2006.

Ingram started by saying Harbaugh is a "player's coach."

"He's always asking the players how we think, how we feel about situations, addressing us, asking us things. We give him feedback, and it's just transparency," Ingram said.

"He takes care of us, and he's a player's coach. He makes you want to fight hard for him. When a coach allows you to be yourself and shows that he believes in you and cares about you, you want to fight for him that much harder."

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