Ed Reed Wants Lamar Jackson to Be More Like Tom Brady
Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed offered what he referred to as constructive criticism of Lamar Jackson during an appearance on The Ringer's "Slow News Day."
The former Ravens great said he wants Jackson to be more like Tom Brady and less like Cam Newton when it comes to taking hits.
"I want Lamar to play 20 years as Tom Brady is," Reed said. "I don't want to see Lamar get a catastrophic injury like the running quarterbacks of our past. … I want him to win a championship before he becomes like Cam Newton. As big as Cam was, those hits affected Cam. Those hits caught up with him. That affects your throwing. A quarterback has to throw the ball. I always said this and I stand on it: Great quarterbacks don't take hits."
To Reed's point, Brady is still playing at a high level at 44; Newton, who is 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, is out of football at 32.
Jackson has proved adept at avoiding big hits throughout his career despite being the only quarterback in NFL history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. This season, however, he has
missed some practices due to a sore back and probably taken a few more big hits than he has in the past.
When asked why some people still undervalue Jackson, Reed said: "Black quarterbacks in general get criticized harder. So Lamar has to know that. I'm sure he does. And a quarterback that runs as much as Lamar does is not normal for football fans, so of course they're going to criticize that, too."
Pundits Believe Ravens Will Continue to Be a Dangerous Team
The Ravens aren't accustomed to losing games by 24 points. The 41-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday was Baltimore's most lopsided defeat since Week 3 in 2017, so it's understandable for fans to be concerned.
However, given the Ravens' track record of success, it's not time to panic.
"I just think the way this team is coached, and the quarterback there, and the fact that they will get healthier and continue to figure things out [on defense] with Wink Martindale, that they are going to be around come January," NFL.com's Dan Hanzus said. "They are a team that will be playing in January and we'll be talking about, 'Wow, they've overcome a lot.' Because for all the things that have happened with Baltimore, to hit the bye at 5-2 is a big achievement. And I don't see a collapse coming."
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr expressed a similar opinion.
"Once Baltimore finds their footing on the health front, they will be dangerous," Orr wrote.
While it's never wise to look too far ahead, the Ravens have a realistic shot of entering could go on a run before their Week 12 Sunday night game against the Cleveland Browns with an 8-2 record.
After the bye week, the Ravens play three straight games (two at home) against teams that do not currently have a winning record: Minnesota (3-3), at Miami (1-6), and at Chicago (3-4).
Jackson Getting MVP Love Despite Loss to Bengals
Even though Jackson experienced the worst loss of his career as an NFL starter Sunday, former defensive end Chris Long said Jackson is still one of his two leading candidates for league MVP along with Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
"If you're doing a most valuable player to his team it's Lamar Jackson," Long said on Aqib Talib's "Catchin' Fades" podcast. "Now I'm not saying he's having a great, great year, but I'm saying if you take Lamar Jackson off the Ravens, they're the Patriots or worse. So for a team that can beat anybody any week because of that one player, he's my Most Valuable Player. But I think Justin Herbert probably wins it if they win 13 games."
The Ringer’s Ben Solak said that what Jackson has done this season on a team that has been deluged with injuries is even more impressive than his 2019 unanimous MVP season.
"Quite simply, Lamar is carrying the Ravens like he never has before — arguably, like no quarterback has ever carried a team before," Solak wrote.
Orr wrote: "Lamar Jackson, all things considered, is mounting an MVP-worthy season full of herculean performances."
Jackson is No. 4 this week in NFL.com’s Jeffri Chadiha’s MVP watch.
Ravens Reportedly Work Out Veteran OT Cedric Ogbuehi
With starting right tackle Patrick Mekari sidelined for an undisclosed amount of time due to an ankle injury suffered during Sunday's game, the Ravens' already thin depth at offensive tackle is now even thinner.
The Ravens reportedly brought in veteran offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi for a workout yesterday. Ogbuehi has experience at right and left tackle.
Ogbuehi, a 2015 first-round pick by the Bengals, was released by the Seattle Seahawks earlier this week. He has started 30 games in his pro career, including one game with Seattle this season. Ogbuehi opened the season on injured reserve due to a biceps injury.
Tyre Phillips replaced Mekari on Sunday, and Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Alessandris expressed confidence in him. However, more depth is needed, and Ogbuehi could be suitable.
"The Ravens are desperate for offensive tackle help and a capable one just became available on the open market," Ebony Bird’s Justin Fried wrote. "Now, Ogbuehi wouldn't be asked to step into a starting role immediately. If the Ravens are comfortable with Phillips at right tackle, he could and likely should start when they return from their bye week. But Ogbuehi would be significantly better depth than they have now."