Lamar Jackson: “I hate running”

Darin Gantt
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

When Ravens coach John Harbaugh suggested that quarterback Lamar Jackson might run even more than he did as a rookie, he might have been running a misdirection play of his own.

Because Jackson is running much less this year, roughly half as much, and with one compelling reason why.

I hate running,” Jackson said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “Only if I have to, but my job is to get the ball to the receivers, the tight ends, running backs. If I have to run, I’ll do it, but I’d rather just sit back and pass it. I like throwing touchdowns instead of running them.”

Jackson carried the ball 17 times a game as a rookie starter. This year, he’s averaging nine a game, while throwing 33 passes a game.

He still can run, he’d just prefer the other way of doing offense, and it’s working OK for him at the moment.

He’s still capable of it, mind you, as his 16-carry, 120-yard performance against the Cardinals showed. He also had a highlight reel fake/spin touchdown last week against the Chiefs. He’s on pace to run for 917 yards this year, with a 144-carry pace. (He ran 147 times last year, with all but 28 coming in his seven starts).

“He’s wild, man. He’s amazing,” Ravens running back Mark Ingram said. “I don’t think there is anything like him in the league, as far as just extending plays and being able to juke defenders. He’s special. He can extend plays and buy time for us to get open, receivers to get open, or him take off and run at the last resort and juke people, spin around people, make people fall.”

But he’s learned another way of doing business, and is fifth in the league in passer rating, adding to his arsenal this offseason.

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