Ed Reed: Lamar Jackson Can Win a Super Bowl, But …
Even though Lamar Jackson is just 24 and has only been a starter for two full seasons, critics of the 2019 league MVP harp on his lack of success in the postseason and question whether Baltimore will ever win a Super Bowl with him at quarterback.
During Ed Reed's appearance on ESPN's "First Take," the Hall of Fame safety was posed the question of whether the Ravens have the potential to win a Lombardi Trophy with Jackson.
"Yes, no question about it," Reed said. "But it takes an organization. Lamar's not just by himself. I know every time we talk about the Baltimore Ravens, it's always about 'Lamar gotta do this, Lamar gotta do that.' … I know Baltimore understands it takes a team. I know with the leadership of Coach [John] Harbaugh they understand that. It truly takes everybody.
"Lamar does his job. You gotta get others around him to do their job consistently as well. Lamar has all the ability to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, but he can't do it by himself."
Reed's words echoed those of his former teammate, Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, who was asked the same question about Jackson during his appearance on "First Take" in March.
"Can he? Absolutely! But you're going to have to surround him with the right pieces for sure," Lewis said. "I get it, we're the No. 1 rush team over the last two years. And that's great, that's great to do that. But to go to the next level, you're going to have to have a big-play X or Z on the outside that takes a lot of pressure off Lamar when Lamar's doing what he does."
As Reed said, the Ravens organization understands it can't be a one-man show. To that end, the Ravens provided Jackson with more weapons in the passing game this offseason, signing veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins and drafting wide receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace. They also revamped the offensive line.
While quarterbacks typically get much of the credit if their team wins the Super Bowl and much of the blame if their team falls short of a championship, Jackson is more scrutinized than most of his peers.
That's largely because of his unique skill set, but he's also a victim of his own success. The bar is set high when you're the second unanimous MVP in league history, win more than 80 percent of your games and set numerous records.
Advanced Metric Confirms John Harbaugh Is an Elite Head Coach
Harbaugh's resume, which includes a Super Bowl title, .620 winning percentage and just one losing season in 14 years, speaks for itself. An advanced metric confirms that Harbaugh is one of the elite head coaches in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus devised a metric called Wins Over Expected Coaching (WOEC) to measure how many wins a coach or a coaching staff adds to a team. Harbaugh is first in WOEC over the past four seasons, with 0.877 wins over expected.
"Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Chiefs coach Andy Reid are two of the league's best when it comes to situational aggressiveness on fourth down — neither has had a losing season in the past four years and are well-deserving of the top two spots on this list," PFF's Tej Seth wrote.
Over the past 12 seasons, Harbaugh ranks fourth in WOEC, trailing only the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick, Reid and New Orleans Saints' Sean Payton.
"Bill Belichick is the GOAT of the WOEC era but seems to be losing his advantage over the rest of the league," Seth wrote. "Andy Reid and John Harbaugh become the league's top coaches, with Matt Lafleur, Frank Reich and others not far behind."
Marlon Humphrey Talks About Team Unity on Mark Ingram II's Podcast
Marlon Humphrey joined former teammate Mark Ingram II and Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan on their "Truss Levelz" podcast. The All-Pro cornerback talked about his love for the game and his teammates.
"I'm just trying to embrace this secondary we've got," Humphrey said. "We just took the DB trip to Mexico. I really learned some stuff I didn't even know about some boys. It's just the camaraderie. I'm trying to really just enjoy it, be present. For me, the more comfortable I am with the guys … it makes life enjoyable.
"I love ball. You can't play forever, but them friendships, the brotherhood, that lasts forever. I'm on Year 5; those five years went quick. I'm trying to really just enjoy everything I'm doing. … If I enjoy everything I'm doing, I think everything I want is going to come."
Humphrey also gave more details about the podcast he's starting with Ronnie Stanley titled "Guru Punch," which he said will debut Week 1 of the season. Ingram said he'll be tuning in.
"Ronnie and Marlon, I'm telling you that's can't-miss TV," Ingram said.
"Why is it can't-miss TV?" Humphrey said. "Because what I think about something, Ronnie is the entire opposite way on almost everything."
A Year Ago, Watkins Envisioned Playing for Ravens
Watkins displaying his ability to make big plays and contested catches in practice has been a welcome sight for Ravens fans. But for Watkins, taking the field in a Ravens uniform is something he saw himself doing a year ago when he was with the Chiefs.
Six months after helping Kansas City win the Super Bowl, Watkins says he had a premonition about playing for the Ravens.
"I knew a year before. I told my wife, 'I'm going to the Ravens,'" Watkins told USA Today's Mike Jones. "I don't know how I knew. But I could feel, 'Time for a new experience. New team.' And a lot of stuff led up to me saying, 'Damn. I'm going to be in Baltimore!' And I made my decisions based on the things going on around me and I was seeing. Now, I'm here and I can't wait to see what we can do."
Watkins, who went on to say that he often envisions things playing out ahead of time, said he felt a sense of comfort when he joined the Ravens.
"It was like, 'Aaaah! I'm back in my element,'" Watkins said.
Here's to hoping Watkins has a vision of the Ravens hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in February.