Mark Schlereth on Lamar Jackson: ‘Produce in the playoffs’

OWINGS MILLS — NFL analyst and former Super Bowl champion Mark Schlereth caused a stir this week when he questioned quarterback Lamar Jackson’s ability to elevate the play of his wide receivers.

“I do not want to hear from all of you out there that are telling me that Lamar Jackson, ‘Well they don’t get him weapons,'” Schlereth said on the Stinkin’ Truth Podcast. “How many first-round wide receivers do you need to draft? ‘Well they’re not drafting the right ones,’ well you’re not developing them. ‘Well how do you develop them?’ Well your quarterback has a long way to go in developing wide receivers. So I don’t want to hear that [nonsense] from you anymore, any of you Baltimore fans, I’m tired of it.”

Jackson is a two-time NFL MVP who is 58-19 as the starter. He has also led the Ravens to the playoffs five times since being selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft but is 2-4 in those games.

Jackson doesn’t pay attention to the outside noise. He also has not backed down from the pressure of bringing a championship back to Baltimore.

“I don’t really care about what people say,” Jackson said this past season. “I’m trying to win. Day in, day out, every time I’m on that field, I’m trying to play to the best of my ability. Those guys just had our team’s number in the past, but it’s a different team.”

Other pundits defended Jackson.

The Ravens have prioritized getting Jackson playmakers to be successful and the team is consistently one of the favorites to reach the Super Bowl.

General manager Eric DeCosta has taken a wideout in the first round in three of the last five years of the NFL draft. Overall, the Ravens have selected a wide receiver seven times over that span.

Last year, the Ravens added free-agent Odell Beckham Jr., who appeared in 14 games. This offseason, the Ravens signed four-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry and added wide receiver Devontez Walker in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Now, the onus is on Jackson to take the Ravens to the Super Bowl, according to Schlereth.

“They drafted first round of talent, they drafted tight ends in the first round, they’ve drafted three different wide receivers since 2018 in the first round,” Schlereth said. “I mean, Aaron Rodgers went what, 16-17 years with the Green Bay Packers, they never drafted a guy in the first round, whether it was a tight end or a wide receiver for him. So don’t tell me about it. I mean, it’s one of those things, don’t tell me about the pain, show me the baby, produce in the playoffs.”

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