Not long after his head coach did it, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson showed respect for his counterpart ahead of Sunday’s Ravens-Patriots game.
Jackson told reporters Wednesday that he looked up to Patriots quarterback Cam Newton as a kid.
“I watched Cam since Auburn. Everyone in the country did,” Jackson said. “Everyone knew about Cam – Superman – doing his thing. A lot of us looked up to him.”
Newton and Jackson have been two of the best running quarterbacks in recent memory. Newton is second all-time in rushing yards for a quarterback with 5,120 while Jackson’s 1,206 rushing yards in 2019 was the most ever for a quarterback in a season.
Jackson was on the bench when the Ravens faced Newton’s Panthers in 2018, so Sunday marks the first time the two will start against each other.
“He’s a mobile quarterback. He does his thing,” Jackson said. “He won the Heisman, won the college championship, won MVP, went to the Super Bowl. I followed him a lot, wanted to get to where he’s at. Now I’m here, now I’ve got to play against him. I just can’t wait to do that.”
Jackson, 23, has already achieved similar heights to Newton. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy while at Louisville in 2016 and won the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2019. Jackson and Newton are two of three Black quarterbacks to win the MVP award outright in the NFL’s history. They’re also just two of nine players to win the NFL’s MVP award and Heisman.
Even though he’s nearly as accomplished as Newton, Jackson is still tipping his cap to his elder.
“Game recognize game,” Jackson said. “He’s the O.G. – Superman.”
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