Lamar Jackson sounded surprised to be recognized by fans Tuesday while sightseeing with teammates in London.
"Lamar Mania" has gone international this week with the Ravens preparing to face the Titans on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Jackson said he wasn't fully aware of the NFL's strong following in Europe.
"I didn't know until people recognized me," Jackson said. "I was like, 'That's crazy, I'm known in London?' A few guys walked up to me, they were like, 'Are your Lamar?' in the London accent. I took a picture with those guys. It was fun.
"It means a lot, just for NFL football to be going global. It's amazing, and for me to have fans in London? I never dreamed about that."
Jackson said he enjoyed the Ravens' off day Tuesday before they returned to practice Wednesday.
"I walked the strip, I don't know exactly where I was, bought my mom something (a Chanel purse), just hung out with my guys," Jackson said. "It's my first time in London, probably like my third time outside the country. It's exciting. I'm loving London."
Jackson wasn't with the Ravens in 2017 when they made their previous trip to London. He was drafted the following year. On the Ravens' first international trip, they didn't arrive until the Friday morning of game week and were soundly defeated by Jacksonville, 44-7. The Ravens decided to spend the entire week abroad this time, and Jackson said he had almost adjusted to the five-hour time difference.
"I believe us being out here early, it will help us out a lot, instead of a quick turnaround," Jackson said. "Probably in another day or so I'll be perfect."
Head Coach John Harbaugh liked the way the team practiced on Wednesday.
"We're getting settled in," Harbaugh said. "I think we're all sleeping a little bit better than we did a day or two ago. We're getting a feel for the time. I think we're going to be better for it. We'll see."
Field Surface at Tottenham Stadium Will Be Under Scrutiny
Last weekend, several Buffalo Bills players complained about the turf being hard and unsafe at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where the Ravens and Titans will face each other in Week 6. Two Bills players suffered injuries, including linebacker a serious leg injury to linebacker Matt Milano.
"The turf is terrible," Bills cornerback Taron Johnson told reporters, via Thad Brown of WROC in Rochester, N.Y. "My foot got stuck in the ground. Take that turf out. I don't know why we're playing on stuff like that."
Harbaugh was asked if he was concerned about the playing surface for Sunday's game, though he hadn't seen it yet.
"There are good turf fields and all that," Harbaugh said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the one here at the [Tottenham Hotspur] stadium, but I'm a grass guy. I'm with the players on that. Grass is natural. It plays better.
"I just appreciate our owner, Steve Bisciotti. Seven or eight years ago, he had an opportunity. The players came to him. We had turf [in our stadium], and they just asked him, 'Can you make the stadium grass?' And he did it, right away. It didn't matter what the cost was. He spends a lot of money to keep that grass up, so yes, I'm a grass guy."
Ravens Held 45-Minute Team Meeting to Refocus
Before Wednesday's practice, the Ravens held a 45-minute team meeting and regrouped following their 17-10 loss to the Steelers.
"The message was, essentially, what we're capable of doing and becoming and what we need to do to get there," Harbaugh said. "It's a fine line between good and great, and breaking bad.
"We're a good football team. We're capable of being great. Let's go to work and do the things we need to do – every little detail – to take that next step and become a great football team. You have to do it time and time again, and that's what we're trying to do."
Jackson said Harbaugh echoed how the players felt. The Ravens have lost six fumbles this season, tied with Denver for second most in the NFL. The Vikings have lost eight fumbles to lead the league.
"Coach is feeling how we're feeling," Jackson said. "We should be 5-0, I believe. We just have to put points on the board, protect the ball. That was one of the main things he was saying to us. Every week we've had a turnover, whether it's me or someone else. The ball is our prized possession. Our defense is going a great job. We need to help them out.
"My job is to protect the ball. When I'm in the pocket, got to have better pocket presence. It's all of us. Like I said, the football is the prized possession. Keeping that safe, the sky's the limit for our offense."
Jackson, Harbaugh Confident That Dropped Passes Won't Continue
Both Harbaugh and Jackson expressed confidence that dropped passes won't continue to plague the Ravens as they did in Pittsburgh. Rashod Bateman, Zay Flowers, Nelson Agholor and Mark Andrews all had balls slip through their hands against the Steelers.
"They were a concern on Sunday. That was a big part of the game," Harbaugh said. "They don't need to be a concern going forward because we need to take care of business in that area. That's below the line. That's what receivers do, they catch the ball. Our guys are going to catch those balls 99 out of 100 times. I think we've got a lot of catches in front of us if that's the case."
Jackson said he didn't feel the need to address the issue with his targets.
"It's self-explanatory, I don't need to say anything," Jackson said. "Those guys feel how I feel. They want to make a play. We haven't had that before, that was the first time it happened. I believe guys are locked down right now and they're going to be better. So will I.
"I believe it's just fundamentals. Guys just want to make something happen. The first thing is to catch the ball."