Lamar drops the ball by missing first day of OTAs
While Lamar Jackson is expected to participate at Ravens OTAs this week, Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine why missing the first day is a bad look for the QB.
- That leads us to our next topic. We discussed this yesterday, and there's going to be people out there pushing back, Ravens fans, misguided Ravens fans. Hey, Ravens fans, I'm talking to you here. Give me a moment, Chris. I just want to have a conversation with our friends out there who root for the Baltimore Ravens.
You want your team to be successful I would assume. You want it to win as many games as it can. You want it to fulfill the potential that it has. You would like another Super Bowl Championship. You've got two. It's been a while since the last one. Well, well, one way to get there is to make sure that your guys are fully prepared season to come, and it's not going to be an easy season. There's a lot of great teams in the AFC.
Several great teams in the AFC North, got to be ready to compete, and all those other quarterbacks are there. Even Aaron Rodgers is there. Lamar Jackson is not there. And what's going to happen? Now I'm pivoting back to talking to you, Chris. The blind circling of the wagons, how dare you call out our guy. How dare you call out our guy for not being here for the first day of OTAs. How dare you attack him for doing something that will make it harder for the team to win games.
See, that's when they break their own brains when they realize they're defensive Lamar Jackson for not being present for the start of OTAs has a dotted line back to their team not being as good as it can be. And that's why we say what we say. If you're going to pay somebody $50 million plus-- I don't know where the line is, Chris, between paying a guy not enough for him to volunteer to be there at optional offseason workouts, and paying him enough that he should be. I'll say $50 million is on the should be their side of the line.
- $52 million per year is on should be their side of the line. Wanting to be great, wanting to win championships, wanting to fulfill your potential and promise as a player and a team with a new offense, a new offense, an offense that's going to unlock the passing game, a new offense that features multiple new receivers, a new offense that will be better implemented for week 1 if you're there.
So I don't get it. They reportedly expect him to be there later this week. Why isn't he there day one? He got his contract. He won. He got $52 million a year. His only focus at this point should be being at practice, learning the offense, getting comfortable with new teammates, having them get comfortable with him, and laying the pre-foundation of the foundation they're going to lay during training camp, Chris.
- Yeah. I mean, yeah. It's the same conversation we're having here. Again, it's the first day of OTAs. Is it like, oh my gosh, a necessity and the team and everything's going to go downhill that Lamar Jackson is not there? No. I get it. But, you know, I also just go but why not be there? Why give people like myself and Mike Florio and Stephen A. Smith the chance to even talk about this and go why aren't you there after winning and getting a $50 million contract? That's what I don't get.
And then, yeah, of course the way the season ended on injury, or injured. So, like, I just thought, yeah, he'd be they're chomping at the bit, excited. Now, listen, maybe he had something personal, and stuff like that happens too. Sometimes, you got things scheduled, right? And they don't tell you the OTA schedule maybe until a few weeks ago. And sometimes that stuff happens. I don't know.
But yes, I mean, again, it's the same thing. The formula is pretty proven. The guys that are there, the quarterbacks that are there, they usually do the best, and hopefully Lamar is there for the rest of these. I'd like to see that for all the reasons you said. It's Odell. It's rookie receiver. It's basically a rookie receiver in Rashod Bateman, who's been hurt a lot over the last few years. It's the new OC. It's all of that, and they're close.
Like you said, I mean, they're close. We're talking about a team that I think we look at and go, OK, yeah, it's not the Bengals or the Chiefs, but if you start to name the next teams that could go to the Super Bowl, the Ravens are that team. And, you know, why not get that work? I don't understand why give us the chance to talk about it and make it a thing here. That's the thing that probably I wonder more than anything.
- Well, and then, look, this is not-- anything we ever said about Lamar is not anti-Lamar.
- No. It's actually pro-Lamar.
- Not in a passive aggressive way either. This isn't like, oh, we're just trying to help you and we're really trying to be jerks about it. These are comments and opinions that we have that are aimed at helping him get the most out of his God-given abilities. He's won an MVP. He clearly wants to win a Championship. Patrick Mahomes will be there for every OTA. It's not even a conversation.
The question with Mahomes is how many days of his downtime is he going to spend throwing to receivers in Texas, and how much of his personal time is he going to spend communicating back to Andy Reid and others with the Chiefs organization about the things he's learned while taking his own time, and spending his own money, presumably to bring these guys to Texas so he can spend even more time with them? Because he's living the obsession. We all can say we have that obsession to be great.
- You got to live it.
- It's one thing to say we have an obsession to be great, but you got to live it. And I know that sounds like something stupid that would be on the back of a little cheesy motivational card from some seminar you'd go to, but it's true. Everybody wants to be great. How many people truly want to put in the time, to make the sacrifice, to check every box, to do the stuff when no one's looking, or the stuff when people are looking, like are you present for OTAs?
But to do everything necessary to build the wall one brick at a time, to get the thing that you want. And this is what Tom Brady always said. If you want to beat me, you better be ready to outwork me. And there's guys with that mindset currently in the NFL to play quarterback in the AFC, Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, the three guys you're chasing. There's not going to be a single story, barring some extreme personal issue that forces them to not be there. We're not going to have a single discussion about any of these guys not being at their OTAs or doing stuff beyond that to get themselves and their teammates ready. That's why if you truly want to compete with the best, this is the kind of stuff you got to do.
- Yeah. It's rare. Again, that's where I get into the conversation. It's just rare, you know? And again, I don't know. And I don't want to judge too harshly here on day one. I don't. And I know Lamar, he might see this clip and he'll clap back at me, and who knows.
- With emojis. And I don't care anymore.
- I don't care either.
- I don't care because we're right.
- What we're saying--
- We're right.
- We're saying it through, like, it's rooting. Its through love. That's where I'm not mad at it. It's a true, genuine I want to see number 8 in Baltimore succeed and be the man. I think he's the man. I always have. So that's where it comes from, and that's where if I even ever sound frustrated, it's only because of that. It's because I want him to take advantage of all that he's been given as far as his athletic ability and his talents.
But yeah, I mean, like we said, OK, so maybe Brady missed a few OTAs there, but it's just still so rare. And then you go through the top quarterbacks now, like you said, I mean, it's not even a question. I mean, we don't even-- what? Mahomes, Burrow, Allen, Hurts, right? Herbert, Tua, whatever, whoever you want to talk to. Trevor Lawrence, we don't even like-- they're going to miss a practice? And I don't know why, but between, I guess, Rodgers a little bit and maybe Lamar last year and a little, this has become somewhat of a thing. And it's just rare that the quarterbacks are missing practices. It's rare. It's usually the quarterback's the guy that's chomping on the bit to practice and be on the football because he loves it so much. That's what the quarterback is.
- And we live in a time where being a fan means being a member of a cult, and anyone who says anything bad about the team that we follow with cult-like mindset is an ass and should be attacked, and should be disagreed with, even when they're right. Even when they're making a point that, you know what, if Lamar Jackson was here, maybe we would have a better chance to enjoy our favorite team get to the Super Bowl and win it. Maybe there is some logic and some wisdom in these two guys, who have been around for a while and know a few things, have seen a few iterations of NFL seasons, and have an idea of what the patterns are, what works and what doesn't work.
Maybe these guys have a point. No, they're assholes. Sorry. Because they're daring to point out anything that might be against our guy because you're not allowed to say anything negative about our guy. We won't even say anything negative about our guy, all right?