Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson still hasn't heard from Joe Flacco

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 6, 2018 at 3:38 PM
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Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson made an early impression on Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, but the team's incumbent starter has not touched base with the first-round draft pick.

While Harbaugh lavished praise on Jackson during Saturday's rookie minicamp, the No. 32 overall pick in the NFL Draft acknowledged he has yet to hear from Ravens starting quarterback Joe Flacco.

"No, I haven't. No, I haven't," Jackson responded Saturday when reporters asked if Flacco has been in touch with him since Baltimore traded up to take him with the final pick in the first round.

The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner out of Louisville, Jackson offers a much more dynamic skill set than Flacco, passing for more than 3,500 yards and running for more than 1,500 in each of the final two college seasons.

The 33-year-old Flacco is coming off a sub-par season, throwing for 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions while posting a career-worst 5.7 yards per attempt. Hampered by a back injury, Flacco completed 64.1 percent of 352 pass attempts for 3,141 yards.

Jackson said he is eager to sit down with both Flacco and Robert Griffin III, another former Heisman Trophy winner, who was signed by Baltimore as a backup in the offseason.

"How they see things on the field. What made them learn the system even faster, stuff like that," Jackson said, per the Baltimore Sun.

Flacco, who guided the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship following the 2012 season and is entering his 11th campaign, said leading up to the draft that he was not concerned over the prospects of the team drafting a quarterback.

"It is what it is. It's a business," Flacco said. "Eventually, at some point, that's going to have to happen. It's not really for me to worry about."

Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, recently told the Baltimore Sun that his client expected the team to draft a quarterback but noted that the veteran "feels better than he has in a while and is really excited for the season."

Among the biggest knocks on Jackson coming out of college is his accuracy and there were pre-draft worries about his ability to grasp the intricacies of an NFL offense, but Harbaugh has been impressed with his first up-close look at the rookie.

"Until you put your eyes on a guy on your practice field, it's all just your imagination up until to that point," said Harbaugh. "The thing that I was really impressed with, I thought he was accurate. You read the reports and stuff like that, but he's a naturally-talented thrower. He's got natural arm talent. I think that's something that people were questioning. To see him out there throwing the ball naturally and very accurately, I thought was a big plus."

Harbaugh noted the steep learning curve for any rookie but noted that Jackson "handled himself very well out there" and gave him an "A-plus" for his intangibles.

Jackson said aside from learning Baltimore's system, his priority is to mesh with his teammates.

"I've always put my team first before anything," said Jackson. "I don't treat myself different and I don't want to be treated different. I'm just here to play football, be a Raven and win games."

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