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Late for Work: LeSean McCoy Argues Lamar Jackson Is Unfairly Criticized

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

LeSean McCoy Argues Lamar Jackson Is Unfairly Criticized

Last week, NFL on Fox's Mark Schlereth took a shot at Lamar Jackson on his podcast, "The Stinkin’ Truth," blaming him for the lack of development in the team's wide receivers and Jackson needing to produce in the playoffs. This sparked former NFL running back LeSean McCoy to come to Jackson's defense and argue Jackson's held to a higher standard than other quarterbacks in the league and historically.

"All these other quarterbacks that [won] Heisman's, that was first pick overall, we gave them grace. We give them excuses," McCoy said. "… I look at a guy like Peyton Manning, who is phenomenal. He's great, isn't he? So, let's talk about his numbers for a second. His first five seasons in the NFL, 0-3 in the playoffs. But we always knew how good he was. Gave him a grace period over and over again. Because we knew eventually, he would turn it [around]. Lamar Jackson's not even 30 years old yet. He's got a lot of time left, he's a quarterback."

McCoy admitted he would like Jackson to improve in the playoffs, but it's not like any other quarterbacks are knocking down the back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

"Lamar Jackson, he lost this year to Patrick Mahomes. Who else is beating Patrick Mahomes? Joe Burrow in the playoffs one time. … All I'm saying is for the way we grade Lamar Jackson he's doing the best he can. He could be better in the playoffs. I will give him that. He could be better in the playoffs. But a guy like Josh Allen, who I love — I think Josh is better than Lamar—we don't grade Josh the same way we grade Lamar Jackson."

McCoy closed by repeating his frustration.

"I just hate — they don't keep the same type of attitude with Lamar like they do other quarterbacks, and I'm tired of them," McCoy said.

Ravens Only Team With Two Safeties in Top 20 Ranking

Last week, the Ravens were the only team featuring two players in CBS Sports' top 20 tight ends for 2024. Once more, the Ravens have two in their list of top 20 safeties, with both being among the best.

Marcus Williams: No. 6

"Williams is one of those guys who can just erase the deep portion of the field. He did it in New Orleans and he's doing it in Baltimore," Jared Dubin wrote. "He had a career-high 10 pass breakups last season, and in seven years he has allowed just 14 touchdowns in coverage while picking off 21 passes. Williams has somehow never made either a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team, but hopefully that gets remedied soon."

Kyle Hamilton, No. 2

"Essentially a monster-sized slot corner who can also play in the box and up high on the field, Hamilton is one of the league's most unique players," Dubin wrote. "He finished last season with four interceptions, five pass breakups, 16 pressures, and 40 run stops. That makes no sense on any level. Mike Macdonald is gone, but Hamilton's role should remain the same in Baltimore's defense, and he should only get better at it as he progresses in his career."

Hamilton came up shy of the No. 1 spot to Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Antoine Winfield Jr. but did rank ahead of the highly praised Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pundit Expects Veteran Signing Before Training Camp

The dredges of the offseason is where the Ravens tend to make a move or two. It's been a frequent occurrence, and The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec is waiting for the annual shoe to drop.

"The timing is always hard to predict, but I fully expect the Ravens to add another veteran or two, simply because that's what general manager Eric DeCosta does," Zrebiec wrote. "The Ravens love the late offseason signings where they bring in known and motivated veterans on the cheap to augment positions of perceived need."

Zrebiec predicts the incoming addition is down to two positions.

"Currently, the Ravens need a veteran safety, and quite a few are still available," Zrebiec wrote. "They could also use an interior offensive lineman. It would be surprising if one of those areas is not addressed in the coming weeks."

For safety, there are stars still on the market, including Justin Simmons, Eddie Jackson, Jamal Adams, and Micah Hyde. And while offensive line doesn't have as many stars available, there remains viable options like Phil Haynes, Greg Van Roten, and Mark Glowinski, among others.

Rashod Bateman, Devontez Walker Named Fantasy Wide Receivers to Target for Their 2024 Role

Optimism regarding wide receiver Rashod Bateman has begun to snowball and the latest to be swept up is the fantasy football realm. PFF’s Nathan Jahnke has Bateman on his target list for 2024.

"In Baltimore, Zay Flowers will hold down the Z receiver role while Nelson Agholor is the slot. Rashod Bateman rotated with Odell Beckham Jr. last season as the X receiver," Jahnke wrote. "Todd Monken was among the top-five play callers in keeping wide receivers in their typical role, with either Bateman or Beckham often on the field, and rarely both. If their fantasy production had been combined last season, they would have been WR35."

Jahnke figures rookie wide receiver Devontez Walker could be another option for the Ravens' X receiver.

"Devontez Walker could be worth a late-round flier in deeper leagues," Jahnke wrote. "The fourth-round rookie has the measurables that more closely resemble an X receiver. Our draft guide mentioned Walker was not a polished player in 2022 or 2023, but if he develops a lot in the next two months, he could take over as the X receiver and be a great late-round steal."

Cris Collinsworth Calls Ravens Scary With Lamar Jackson and Derrick Henry Duo

With the NFL Kickoff game getting ever closer, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth said he's beginning to study the teams on his schedule, and the Ravens are among them. His biggest takeaway involved the exciting duo of Jackson and running back Derrick Henry. But their impact hinges on the blocking up front.

"Ravens with Derrick Henry is a little scary," Collinsworth wrote on X. "Teams prefer to have smaller quicker players on the field with Lamar Jackson's run threat. That will make Derrick Henry even more intimidating if the Ravens can get [their offensive line] right. They really need a healthy Ronnie Stanley at LT."

Good news for the Ravens, Stanley said during minicamp that he's feeling "as strong and as quick and as athletic" as he's ever been.

Collinsworth will get the first live look at Jackson and Henry in game when he calls the season opener against the Chiefs on September 5.

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