RG3 wants to 'nurture' Lamar Jackson so 'when he flies away, he is ready to fly away'
The two former Heisman Trophy winners appear to be working closely together in Baltimore
The Ravens' quarterback depth chart is still led by the consistently dull Joe Flacco, but it actually has one of the more interesting collection of quarterbacks in football. That's because, behind Flacco, the Ravens have two former Heisman trophy winners in Robert Griffin III and Lamar Jackson. Flacco is the unquestioned starter heading into the 2018 season, but RG3 and Jackson might be the key to the Ravens' long-term future.
"I'm trying to help nurture him as much as I possibly can, so that when he flies away, he is ready to fly away," Griffin told Sports Illustrated's Ben Baskin. "Because when you watch it fly away, at that point it's up to that bird."
Already, though, Jackson is flying when given an opportunity. Jackson likely won't be given a chance to steal away Flacco's starting job this season, but he will likely be given a chance to play. At practice,to get Jackson onto the field with Flacco. Meanwhile, and have compared him to "a young Michael Vick." As our own Jason La Canfora chronicled last week, when Jackson was handed a chance to run the Ravens' offense for a day,
It'll probably help that he has RG3 to lean on. For all of RG3's faults on the field, he can supply Jackson with some valuable insight. RG3, the former No. 2 overall pick in 2012, has experienced both the highs (2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year) and lows of the NFL (every year besides 2012). So, he should be able to prepare Jackson for the inevitable peaks and valleys that Jackson will experience during his career.
In that sense, RG3 could be a perfect mentor.
"I try to take that and look at it in a positive way to try to help Lamar navigate a lot of the things that I had to navigate on my own," Griffin says. "I feel like he really trusts me and believes what I'm telling him and I think that's made him a better player already in a short amount of time."
According to the SI.com story, Griffin texted Jackson immediately after the draft to tell him that he'd be available to help. Now, the two quarterbacks talk on a daily basis at the team facility and meet at least once a week away from the facility.
Compare how RG3 has handled Jackson's arrival to the way Flacco handled it. At rookie minicamp, Jackson revealed that Eric Weddle, , who has made it clear that he's not holding a grudge against Jackson.That shouldn't come as a surprise given that Jackson is in Baltimore to eventually replace Flacco. Nobody should blame Flacco if he decides to prioritize his own future above his competition. According to Ravens safety
Still, there's a difference between not holding a grudge against someone and wanting to mentor someone. Luckily, Jackson appears to have a mentor in RG3, who is eager to help.
"Is it different being an African-American quarterback in the NFL?" Griffin said. "Yes, it's different. But you can't look at it as a burden. You can't look at it as something that is going to hold you back. It's a challenge. You have to accept the challenge and move forward with it. Anytime you are athletic enough at the quarterback position and have similar traits to a wide receiver or running back, it's going to be talked about. You have to eliminate that noise and understand that, because I have that ability, I am going to be even greater."
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