Tag Archives: Lamar Jackson

Are the Ravens cursed?

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In the final preseason game of the year, Poe, the Ravens mascot, got injured in a mascots versus kids game. Following a season plagued by injuries, an injury to the team’s mascot can be seen as a bad omen. Is this a bad omen for the Ravens? Will the Ravens be cursed by injuries once again? Or am I just a crazy kid reading too far into the injury of someone wearing a costume?

Last season, the Ravens dealt with an absurd amount of injuries to essential pieces. Before the season started, the Ravens lost their top 3 Running Backs, former All-Pro Cornerback Marcus Peters, rookie Wide Receiver RaShod Bateman, Offensive Guard Tyre Phillips, and starting Defensive End Derek Wolffe. A solid running back group quickly turned into a trio of misfit free agents and a practice squad player. The Receiving corps and cornerback group were weakened after losing top guys, and all the pressure fell onto Hollywood Brown and Marlon Humphrey, respectively.

However, these preseason injuries were only the beginning of the madness. By week 18, Superstar Quarterback Lamar Jackson, Star Offensive Tackle Ronnie Stanley, Rookie Edge Rusher Odafe Oweh, linebacker LJ Fort, cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett, and safety DeShon Elliot had all joined the list of injured players.

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Many believe that Baltimore would have been a playoff, or even a Superbowl contender with a healthy roster last season. In the 3 years before last season, the Ravens made the playoffs with relatively healthy rosters, and the Ravens had only gotten better. Only the absurd amount of injuries the Ravens suffered could deter such a talented team from making a playoff run. 

What is odd about the number of injuries the Ravens dealt with last season is that they have had the same head strength and conditioning coach for 7 years and haven’t had too many injury issues in the years before last year. In 2020, the Ravens didn’t deal with many injuries despite quarantine taking away their ability to train the way they usually do. Yet, with every passing week, more and more Ravens continued to get injured, and more and more backups were forced into starting roles.

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After such a disappointing season, Ravens fans can only hope that the team is not cursed with injuries. In the offseason, the front office sought to address this issue and bring in more depth. The Ravens bolstered their offensive line by signing Right Tackle Morgan Moses and drafting Center Tyler Linderbaum and Tackle Daniel Faalele. They also signed Safety Marcus Williams, Cornerback Kyle Fuller (injured Week 1 and out for the season), and drafted Safety Kyle Hamilton and Cornerback Pepe Williams to strengthen the secondary.

With multiple starters already out due to injury and the injury to the team’s mascot, it appears as if the Ravens may be cursed. Were the Ravens just cursed last season? Is the injury to Poe a sign of another injury-plagued season? The Ravens are set to be playoff contenders again as long as they stay healthy, so the only question now is whether or not they will remain healthy.

Jimmy Thomas is a senior member of the multimedia journalism class.

How the 2022 NFL off-season has raised the bar for years to come

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The 2022 NFL off-season has been one of the greatest known to date, with a large majority caused by contract drama. There is no doubt that money was always a factor for NFL players, but has it ever been this bad? Report after report has shown that when one of the best players in his position gets paid, other players feel the need to compete for a spot as the highest player in the league as well. 

Tyreek Hill, after leaving one of the best teams in the league, was traded away to the Miami Dolphins, allowing him to be the top-paid receiver in the NFL. Hill makes a whopping $30 million a year! After receiving this news, players like Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs also felt the need to get paid big bucks. Davante Adams left the Green Bay Packers and his beloved quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, after requesting a trade due to Rodgers receiving a contract that pays him $50 million a year. Adams wanted the money, and that’s precisely what he got. He was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, making $28.25 million a year, while joining former college teammate Derek Carr.

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And if those numbers aren’t crazy enough, Deshaun Watson, after not playing in the NFL for an entire season because of 27 sexual assault allegations, was traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he is set to make $250 million in his contract. This sets the bar high for NFL contracts because many players and fans don’t think he deserves the money. Following this contract drama, Kyler Murray added more fuel to the fire and demanded a contract extension. He removed all of his Cardinals-related Instagram posts, which caused a stir in the media. Kyler Murray ended up receiving a three-year, $105 million contract. It even said in his contract that he had to watch 4 hours of film a day to comply with his contract’s rules.

In the NFL, the quarterback is the highest-paid position, with all top 10 highest-paid players being a QB. Expectations are high for superstar quarterbacks, but the question is, how much money is enough? Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, considered an average quarterback by most metrics, makes $35 million a year, while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still on his 5th-year option, waiting for a major contract. The MVP-winning QB has addressed contract rumors and has made it public that he wants the money. Jackson allegedly turned down a 6-year, $250 million contract, because only $133 million was guaranteed. Ravens fans, try not to worry though; Lamar Jackson is locked in this season, and has his sights on winning a Super Bowl. Raven’s GM Eric DeCosta said the Ravens will try again next year and hopefully get their star QB a top deal.

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The growth in the NFL over the years has been one to remember. The explosion in money being thrown at offensive playmakers in the league has outpaced other sports. Even backup QBs in the NFL have made well over $15 million in total income. As a football fan, it is exciting to watch the game unfold, but the off-season wheeling and dealing is a game itself. The saying “don’t hate the game, hate the player” is in full effect in the NFL this year.

David Cohn is a Senior Member of The multimedia journalism class.

How mobile quarterbacks are revolutionizing the quarterback position

Try to think of an NFL quarterback. Most likely, the first person you’re going to think of is Tom Brady. If you have ever watched Tom Brady play, you easily could say that he is one of the most immobile players on the field of all time. Current quarterbacks now rely on their speed to improvise and to make plays all around the field. The NFL has shifted to a league in which your players, including quarterbacks, require speed, but where did this want for speed with quarterbacks begin? 

Randall Cunningham, who played in the NFL from 1985-2001. Cunningham, who rushed for almost 5,000 career rushing yards in his career, was quite different from the quarterbacks in his time. During the time Cunningham played, he played against a variety of quarterbacks. Cunningham played against several great quarterbacks, such as Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, and Joe Montana. These four Hall of Fame quarterbacks utilized their throwing ability, while Cunningham used both his arms and legs to create plays. To put Cunningham’s rushing ability into perspective, he had 4928 career rushing yards. Those four Hall of Fame quarterbacks all combined for 3996 career rushing yards. Now Cunningham played completely different than most quarterbacks during the time he played, but we can’t discount his effect and impact his rushing has caused. He revolutionized the quarterback position as he was one of the most successful dual-threat quarterbacks in NFL history.

Some career Randall Cunningham highlights

Even with Randall Cunningham being one of the first dual mobile quarterbacks in NFL history, Michael Vick also revolutionized the position with his elite rushing ability. Vick, drafted in 2000 with the first overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons, entirely changed the quarterback position with his elite rushing ability. Vick was the first NFL quarterback to ever rush for over 1000 rushing yards in a season, as he passed Bobby Douglass, who held the record with 968 single-season rushing yards for a quarterback. When Vick retired, he ended up running for 6000 yards in his career, passing Cunningham’s record. Michael Vick ran for over 1000 more yards than Cunningham in his career and is the 2nd true rushing quarterback in NFL history. Both of these 2 players impacted the quarterback position in this day and age, and they have affected the quarterback position forever.

Michael Vick 55 yard run

In this day in age of football, fewer and fewer pocket passers are starting at quarterback as offenses have adapted and built around mobile quarterbacks. Several offenses have done similar things in the NFL to create an offense around their mobile quarterbacks, such as Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson. These teams have made an offense that allows for a quarterback to have the ability to run, such as the teams that Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick played for. These 5 players have all combined for over 12,000 career rushing yards. Together Vick and Cunningham had over 11,000 career rushing yards. The difference between these players is that 4 of the 5 players aren’t even over 27 years old.

Due to teams’ success with mobile quarterbacks, more and more mobile quarterbacks are being drafted in the NFL draft. For example, in last year’s NFL draft, Trey Lance and Justin Fields with first overall selections. Both of these players were great college players, but they were both drafted high in the NFL draft due to their athleticism. With teams wanting more mobile quarterbacks, pocket passing quarterbacks, who play similar to Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady are starting less and less due to their minimal athleticism. Let’s then talk about one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league, Lamar Jackson.

Best Lamar Jackson jukes

So far in Lamar Jackson’s career, he’s rushed for 3,298 rushing yards and thrown for over 9,000 yards, and he is only 24 years old. Lamar has played a total of 52 career games, and in Vick’s career, he played 143 games. If Lamar plays 143 career games and keeps up a similar rushing pace to what he has now, he will destroy Michael Vick’s quarterback rushing record by around 3,000 yards. In Lamar’s second season, he broke the single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,206 yards, smashing the record that was previously held by Vick. To put that into perspective, Tom Brady, who has played in 20 NFL seasons in his career, has 1080 rushing yards. Lamar passed Brady’s rushing total in one season. Even with Brady’s minimal mobility, he still is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, but the NFL is moving away from pocket passers and more into mobile passers. Quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Josh Allen are genuinely changing what the quarterback position is. Mobility with quarterbacks is becoming less of a want, and more of a need in the NFL.

Joshua Sheppard is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.