Monken ‘expects the unexpected’ with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken has seen quarterback Lamar Jackson up close in practice and in games.

The sixth-year quarterback never ceases to amaze him.

 “[I’ve learned to] expect the unexpected, I guess,” Monken said. “I’ve said this a lot – [Lamar Jackson’s] highly competitive, loves football, hates to lose, is an elite player, wants to be an elite player [and] wants to grow as a player. He has a unique ability to see the field and a unique ability to make plays off schedule. That’s just all the things you see.

“So now, you’re just trying to … Every day, he’s trying, and we’re all trying to … ‘How do we get the ball out on time? How do we do a better job schematically, system-wise, to not have him take some of those hits and not put himself in that position?’ He’s unique, that’s for sure. It’s fun to watch.” 

Jackson will face his toughest test of the season Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, who are ranked ninth in total defense, allowing 310 yards per game.

Jackson has thrown for 3,105 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also leads all quarterbacks with 741 yards rushing with another five scores.

Jackson is most concerned about San Francisco’s pressure.

“The defensive line is pushing the pocket,” he said. “[Their] linebackers [are] flying all across the field [and] making tackles. [Their] ‘DBs’ [defensive backs] are playing fundamental, sound football.” 

 The Ravens are 5-point underdog but few will be surprised if they pull out a win.

Monken has learned never to underestimate Jackson.

“I don’t know if there’s anything that’s really surprised me,” Monken said. “He’s been awesome to work with. Like I said, he’s highly competitive, strong-willed, loves playing football, loves his teammates [and] wants to be coached. And, it shows up.” 

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