The public mutual respect between Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to grow.
After an August preseason game between the two teams before Jackson’s MVP campaign in 2019, Rodgers told Jackson he loved watching him play and advised him to slide more often. In the postgame news conference, Jackson affectionately referred to Rodgers, himself a two-time MVP, as the “GOAT,” meaning “Greatest of All Time.”
Rodgers continued to praise Jackson, saying he foresaw Jackson’s impending NFL success back when he was burgeoning at Louisville as the youngest-ever player to win the Heisman Trophy.
When asked on The Pat McAfee Show if one can tell early that a quarterback will be successful, Rodgers pointed to Jackson as an example.
“There’s just some things, boxes, I feel like you have to check. And one of them is being able to sling it," Rodgers said. "I was talking to somebody earlier, I think just being able to throw the ball at a high level can make up for a lot of different things.
“You look at Lamar. As talented as Lamar is, athletically, — I mean, the guy is one of the fastest guys in the league — but you watch him in college and he could sling that thing. He could really sling the ball. Big-time arm, throwing it 75, 80 yards. So, you just knew, one, he’s supremely athletic. Two, he can really throw it. So like footwork wise, he’s going to figure it out with coaching and getting in an offense. … To me, that wouldn’t have been a big issue.”
After taking over as the starter in Week 11 of the 2018 season, Jackson returned in 2019 a vastly improved passer. He threw a league-high 36 touchdowns and rushed for 1,206 yards, breaking Michael Vick’s single-season rushing record for a quarterback.
When asked Wednesday about Rodgers' comments, Jackson said the praise “means a lot.”
Latest Baltimore Ravens
“It means a lot, coming from a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and a guy who’s still competing at a high level," Jackson said with a smile. “A-Rod, yeah, that’s pretty cool coming from him. I appreciate that.”