Al Pacino compares Ravens' Lamar Jackson to 'Any Given Sunday' character Willie Beamen
Pacino likes what he sees from the Ravens QB
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been arguably the most talked-about player in the NFL during the 2019 season. In fact, Jackson is such a sensation that he is leaving impressions on people in different professions, such as actor Al Pacino.
In a recent interview of The Ringer's Jake-Kring Schreifels about the 1999 football movie "Any Given Sunday," Pacino revealed not only that he's been inspired by the type of year that Jackson is having, but that the QB reminds him of Willie Beamen from the film.
From The Ringer:
"I watch this guy Lamar Jackson. There are occasionally these players that are inspiring because you can see the game that they play is a game, and you can actually sense the joy they have in what they do. That's inspiring. Watching Lamar Jackson is an inspiration to actors. Finding that pocket, finding, where is that joy that gets under you and brings you out? The freedom to let go of the conscious, and get it to the unconscious and fly like he does?"
Pacino points out that Jackson is clearly having fun with what he's doing on the field, and that's certain evident. In just his first full season as the team's signal caller, Jackson is the frontrunner for league MVP and has proved to be unstoppable. He's totaled 40 touchdowns, both through the air and on the ground.
Additionally, Pacino compared Jackson having to be a backup quarterback when he first entered the league to a very prominent character in the film "Any Given Sunday": Willie Beamen, who was played by Jamie Foxx in the film.
"With Willie Beamen, he was put in the background. Lamar was waiting behind Flacco, and I don't see how he got overlooked," Pacino said. "What Lamar's doing was always there. You can clearly see it. Then you watch how he throws with such accuracy. He seems so comfortable throwing a football, like he's been doing it all his life."
In the movie, starting quarterback Jack "Cap" Rooney (played by Dennis Quaid) and backup Tyler Cherubini go down with injuries and Beamen is forced into a starting role. While Jackson wasn't quite the third-string signal caller, the former first-round pick did have to sit behind Flacco during the 2018 season before taking over in November against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The comparison is definitely a valid one and it's pretty awesome to see a legendary actor like Pacino being inspired by a young player like Jackson.
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