After being torched by Lamar Jackson, Marvin Lewis took the low road and criticized a Black QB for running too much.
Lamar Jackson didn’t get an hour to bask in the glory of his record-breaking rushing debut and first career win on Sunday before someone tried to knock him.
This has become par for the course for Jackson — who despite a prolific college career that included a Heisman trophy as a freshman and his incredible dual-threat capabilities — was doubted by scouts, fans, executives, owners, and coaches before being picked with the last selection of the first round in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Interestingly enough, this time, the hate didn’t come from an over aged, white GM with biased, outdated analysis. It came from the winningest and longest tenured African-American coach in the game right now.
"Quarterbacks don't run forever in the NFL."
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 19, 2018
Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was gutted on the ground by the Ravens’ new weapon. Instead of crediting the rookie with a tremendous first effort, Lewis questioned Jackson‘s longevity after the Ravens rookie first-round pick ran the ball more times than any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era.
“Quarterbacks don’t run forever in the NFL,” Lewis said after the 24-21 loss in Baltimore. “Sooner or later, they get hurt, and they don’t run the same. But, today, he could run, and he did a good job.”
That was very off-white and very off-brand for Marvin Lewis to say. Jackson received a seriously backhanded compliment from Lewis after he got torched. LJ’s 117 yards rushing were the most by a quarterback in four years. Maybe his at times inexplicable Teflon coaching status has warped his socially-conscious brain functions.
But Lewis’ criticism did nothing to dampen Jackson’s spirits or make him reevaluate his playing style. It’s just another low road opinion. One of many negative attitudes towards Jackson’s unique game.
can we just talk about how Marvin Lewis basically just said that Lamar Jackson will get injured instead of giving him credit for him cooking Lewis' team… pic.twitter.com/ibZKffF0Td
— ✨adam✨ (@ZTheBest33) November 19, 2018
Just days before the NFL Draft anonymous haters were still trying to knock Jackson out of the first round and into another position.
An unnamed NFL offensive coordinator said Jackson — the future of the funk— won’t stick at the position throughout his NFL career. Then Tom Pelissero of NFL.com passed along comments from coaches and scouts about the top QB prospects, and one was quick to throw shade on Jackson’s potential as a passer.
“He’s an awesome athlete. He will not be able to play (quarterback) in this league, mark my words,” the offensive coordinator said. “When he throws, he hopes.”
Jackson who went 13-19 for 150 yards on Sunday will get a chance to flex his rifle arm in the upcoming weeks. His head coach even said after the game that it’s unlikely that Jackson will continue to run as much going forward.
“I think that’s what Lamar felt that it took today,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t believe it’s going to take that many carries every week. It’s not what we’re going to be shooting for, by any stretch. But, if it takes that many, Lamar will do it. But, no, he took some hits. I think they knew the quarterback was going to run the ball. They were going after him a little bit, as you would expect. That’s something that we have to look at going forward.”
With little time to prepare, the Ravens designed an offense to Jackson’s strengths for his debut game. As he gets more comfortable and learns the system, his passing will increase because he’s proved he can do that as well.
Lewis was actually criticizing Jackson for utilizing his special gifts in the game. Lewis was hurt by the ass whipping that Jackson gave his defense and he sounded juvenile in his remarks for criticizing Jackson’s success.
Maybe it was his defense that contributed to Jackson running as much as he did and not the Ravens game plan or an inability to throw the ball. Once the Ravens saw that the Bengals couldn’t stop Jackson, he kept running.
The rookie has waited all season to get a chance to start. He led the team beautifully and displayed the ability to come through in the clutch. There were so many things that he did well, but Lewis couldn’t concentrate on nan one. Instead, he took the low road and criticized a black quarterback for running too much.
It’s the same race-based criticisms that Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, and RG3 — who all suffered at least one major season-ending injury in their careers — endured at some point.
Every dual-threat QB understands the risks when they take off with the ball and run. Sounds like sour grapes from Marvin Lewis who had never had a quarterback as dynamic as Jackson.