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John Harbaugh defends Lamar Jackson's playoff failure

Jan
17
1/17/2020 1:01:38 PM
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Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh defended quarterback Lamar Jackson's playoff failure on Friday, highlighting the progress he's made in two NFL seasons, Jamison Hensley of ESPN reports.

"He's 23 years old. He's younger than Joe Burrow, OK?," Harbaugh said at his end-of-season press conference. "So he's got a pretty good head start right now. I mean he's along the way. The Manning brothers combined to ... they had five losses in their first five playoff games before they won one. [Joe] Montana, [Steve] Young and [Brett] Favre didn't start a playoff game until their third season. [Drew] Brees and [Troy] Aikman, until their fourth season, and [Aaron] Rodgers until his fifth season. Interesting."

Jackson is the frontrunner for NFL Most Valuable Player in becoming the first player to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. But he wasn't the same dominating force in Saturday's 28-12 divisional playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, throwing two interceptions and fumbling once.

In two seasons, Jackson is 19-3 in the regular season and 0-2 in the postseason.

Asked if Jackson has the tendency to be too self-critical, Harbaugh said, "I think he understands what it is to take responsibility. And he also has a great sense of urgency to be successful and what it takes to be successful. So no, Lamar doesn't lack for confidence. He's not doubting himself if that's the implication that those people are making."

Jackson met with Harbaugh in his office "for a good while" on Wednesday. Harbaugh asked Jackson where he needs to improve.

"Without getting into what they are specifically, he nailed it, the priority list, in the exact same order that [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] and I nailed the priority list when we were talking on Monday," Harbaugh said.

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