Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh says reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson still has "a lot to learn" and he is aware of that. After an outstanding 2019 season by Jackson, teams across the NFL now have a better understanding of the Ravens quarterback and they have been making things tougher for him this season.
"He still has a lot to learn, but the great thing about Lamar is he recognizes that," Ravens coach Harbaugh said, per ESPN. "He understands that people are making him the focus. He has got to find a way to tighten up his game and beat those things with precision and accuracy and his mind.
They're doing everything they can with a lot of smart and talented people to stop Lamar Jackson the week that they play him." The Ravens are 5-2 this season but they haven't been especially great this season and last week they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home.
Coach Harbaugh says each player on the field has to step up and deliver. "It's not 11-on-1. It's 11-on-11," Harbaugh said. "They can focus 11-on-1 if they want. But there are 10 other guys out there. I think that's the thing we try to get across to our guys."
Jackson and Dez Bryant forming chemistry
Bryant, a three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, hasn't played in the NFL since December 2017 but recently he got signed to the Ravens practice squad. "When we feel like he's ready to come up in shape and knows the offense well enough and has enough capability with Lamar on enough plays, then we'll bring him up," Harbaugh said, when asked would the Ravens elevate Bryant from the practice squad.
"When it happens, I think it'll happen. I don't think it's something you want to force feed in there. So, we'll just have to see as we go." On Tuesday, the Ravens placed six players on the reserve/COVID-19 list after they were identified as "high-risk" close contacts to Marlon Humphrey -- who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Neither of those six players showed any symptoms this week and they will be allowed to play if their tests over the weekend also come back as negative. "It's something that you deal with. It's part of life right now," Harbaugh said.
"Every single person in the country is dealing with these kinds of things in their lives. The cool thing about football is [it's] a microcosm of life. There are certain rules that are in place, and you do your best to follow them.
Sometimes, you fall short. "I do think the metaphor here with the NFL is kind of a good one in the sense that you do everything you can to keep each other safe from this virus. And yet, you still continue to take on the challenges of life and try to be excellent in the things that you do."