In the past year I’ve noticed a weird type of football guy. The Lamar Jackson hater. This is a specific type of guy, with an absolutely quacked out perspective on Lamar.

This specific type of hater likes to call Lamar a runningback. Now some trolling and dumb trash talking is bound to happen. Of course rival fans are going to slam the guy with insults like that. But a surprising amount of actual Baltimore fans have also expressed this opinion. I’ve seen a not insignificant amount of idiots who actually think the Ravens should move on from the former MVP, or that he’s on a tight leash right now because he hasn’t proven he’s a long term answer, and it’s baffling. Do these people actually watch football?

To get the big one out of the way, part of it is obviously racism. Lamar Jackson is a black quarterback who excels at something NFL society has essentially designated a black “style” of play. He runs and scrambles a lot, you know, like Vick, or Randall Cunningham, or Kaep. This ignores that plenty of white QBs also scramble and run a lot, and plenty of black QBs are pocket passers, or the quality mix of QBs who are both. Running a lot as a QB is still racially coded as a black QB thing. The fact that Jackson is probably the most “Vick” player since Vick himself just makes it easier to dismiss him like that.

A lot of Jackson defenders will rightly point out that Jackson seems like he’s under an absurd microscope at times while other white players get the benefit of the doubt. Sam Darnold still has a lot of support despite never doing anything of value whatsoever. In an interesting comparison that I don’t see anyone else pointing out, look at Tim Tebow. Tebow is the closest we’ve ever gotten to the “white” version of Mike Vick or what many people see Jackson as. A QB who’s main skillset is primarily running and is lacking in passing. Tebow got a lot of hate, but to this very day he still has dedicated legions of followers who still think he would have been the greatest player in NFL history. Tebow as an NFL player was a fraction of what Jackson has been.

Ignoring the racial component, the Lamar hate still doesn’t make much sense. Does he have limitations as a passer? Sure. So do most QBs. Does he run the ball a lot? Yeah, he sure does. You know why? The Ravens team is built for it. Greg Roman, the OC, loves running the ball. He was the guy behind Kaepernick’s peak in San Francisco. Greg Roman is also not perfect and deserves plenty of criticism for some of his playcalls and gameplans. But on top of that, the Ravens like to run the ball with Lamar for one very good reason: He’s fucking good at it. Why would you not design an offense around one of your quarterback’s best skills? The best coaches in football are the best because they take what players are best at and find ways to incorporate those skills into their gameplans! How many players have had their development stunted or outright ruined because of coaches trying to force a square peg into a round hole? If a player is really good at something, design your plays to take advantage of it and minimize making them do what they aren’t as good at. That’s good football! So of fucking course when you have a human joystick at QB you should fucking use him like it.

Not to mention that the Ravens haven’t had any good passing weapons in Lamar’s time. It was an obvious major problem with the Ravens offense. Nobody could get open for Lamar to throw them the ball, when he did they dropped it a lot. No wonder he frequently ran instead. Frankly I don’t see how that’s really a mark against him. If you’ve got nowhere to go, don’t force it, take what you can get, and if you can get it via your legs, well go for it champ. Should Lamar take more risks and try to make some of these throws instead of automatically going ground? Sure. Like we’ve established, he’s not perfect, and his passing isn’t as strong as you’d hope. But it’s not like he can’t throw the ball. He’s not Tebow, who had awful mechanics and horrid accuracy, he’s not bad at throwing, he’s just not excellent and has some limits. I see no reason to believe he can’t get better at throwing. Josh Allen did. He just needs some good coaching and to work on it.

But for fucks sake, I could throw all sorts of Lamar defenses up and none of it really matters because at this point, if you don’t think Lamar Jackson can be the guy, you’re a complete idiot. Even with his flaws, do you really think this guy can’t do it? He’s already won MVP. He’s only 24 years old. He’s led the Ravens to the divisional round two years in a row, in two seasons as the full starter. He’s accomplished so much already and he’s still so young. As long as the Ravens don’t mismanage him and he stays healthy, why can’t he also develop as a passer with the ample time he has? Jackson is electric and he’s got Vick’s running skills with better passing skills. I’d be ecstatic to have Jackson as my QB right now. It’s not like he’s an Andy Dalton type, who is right on the cusp of being replaceable. Jackson is not replaceable. Any flaws he has are absolutely worth the upside and he has years to grow. Only a moron would want to dump him and move on like they are easily going to find replacement Tom Brady just sitting there. When you got a guy who can do it, you fucking keep him and develop him.

The Ravens have their franchise QB and anyone who wants to move on from the guy at this point in time is an absolute buffoon.