Lamar Jackson is having a historic season for the Baltimore Ravens. He's not only a frontrunner for the MVP award, but he has the Ravens poised for a deep playoff run and Super Bowl Dreams. Lamar's special season really is unlike anything we've ever seen out of the QB position. He's continually breaking records and racking up impressive wins week in and week out. While everyone is currently jumping on the Lamar Jackson bandwagon, Michael Vick has been there from day one, showing nothing but support for the young franchise QB.
Vick has long been a supporter of everything Jackson does, and earlier this week, surprised Jackson with special pair of cleats to celebrate the Ravens QB becoming the fastest QB in Madden history. If you've ever played Madden, you already know that Vick used to be a cheat code, which makes this feat even crazier.
The Jackson and Vick comparisons aren't about to slow down anytime soon, and they shouldn't. Jackson is balling right now and Vick is right there to support him. We caught up with Vick to talk about his support of Jackson, how running QBs are officiated in the NFL, Cam Newton's future, and much more.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Wanted to start off by getting your thoughts on Lamar reaching this Madden achievement? Fastest QB in the game's history is no small thing for anyone.
Yeah, well being the first to do it, and then the fastest level on the game, it's kind of cool to get to watch your guy get to that. Not in my shadow, but came years and years after me, which I never thought it would be done. He put himself in the position to be the best. It's pretty cool for Lamar to be able to reach this achievement and I hope he appreciates the magnitude of the situation and what's been put in front of him.
What have your previous conversations with Lamar been like?
I had a lot of conversations with him when he was in college. More so to the point where back then everything I told him is happening now. I told him what the game was going to be like, what he would have to do and he fell into the hands of the right coach and he's doing it. Those conversations took place before he got drafted and now he's just taking this whole Mike Vick comparison, and more so just what's he's supposed to do, and he's taking it and running with it. That's his motivation and it's not going to stop because we've all made the comparison and he's going to live up to it so he's going to do the best of his ability.
What are your thoughts on Jackson proving a lot of people wrong this season. Going from a guy some projected couldn't be a QB in the NFL to an MVP candidate?
I think he came in with a lot of motivation. You tell a guy he's just playing out of position and he's worked so hard his entire life to learn to play quarterback and be able to get to the NFL. All the years we talked about him playing this position, it's almost like where did that come from. He's playing with a ton of motivation, like he's the last man in the green room. You know, got drafted 32nd and probably didn't think he was going to go the first round after a while but guys get drafted before you, so, his motivation is going to always try to prove people wrong and that's the marker that was created. He's going to live up to his own standards.
I know you're a big Madden guy yourself, you like to play.
I can't find competition.
I can't find competition these days, I'm looking for competition.
You can't find competition? Are you playing with Lamar?
I'm giving people hell with him. I know how to use the Ravens, I couldn't use myself when I played back in the day, when I was on the cover during all my Madden years but I learned how to play with Lamar, which is crazy and I'm very successful with my team. I'm getting better but it's different but also a mold that fits with my game and that's stuff that I appreciate.
You watch a lot of the league these days, does one team stick out as a Super Bowl favorite to you? Could it be Lamar and the Ravens?
I've never had a Superbowl favorite because anything can happen in the playoffs, the best teams get upset. But I will say the Ravens are priming themselves up to be the team to beat in the AFC. The Patriots, obviously. You don't know if that can happen in the playoffs but they'll have a different gameplan the next time around so, who knows because anything can happen. Not the Superbowl favorites but definitely contenders.
One thing I always wondered was how you would have benefited from the new rules to protect QBs these days?
I can't necessarily say because when they consider you a mobile quarterback or a running quarterback then the hits are different within the pocket and how you might get hit in the pocket. They might think you're about to scramble so, I mean, it's kind of, just the situation, it's not easy to make those calls but I don't know if the game would have been exactly different for me. It certainly would have helped but when you're tagged and labeled as a mobile quarterback sometimes you don't get the calls that you deserve. We've seen Cam Newton go through it for years, just not getting the calls he deserves and that's even with the rules changed. It could have changed, it could have changed for the better.
Something that's really impressed me with Lamar is that he's great at avoiding the big hits. Is that a trend you've noticed as well with him?
Yeah, well I haven't seen him take a hard hit yet, maybe once or twice and making highlights. He always getting out of bounds, always getting down, and always protecting himself and he's probably heard it enough, from his coaches, from his teammates to protect yourself out there.
You brought up Cam Newton. Obviously there's been rumors that he might be out in Carolina, they might be moving on. Do you think he still has some left in the tank and maybe where he might be able to go to pick up his career?
I think Cam still has a lot of football left in the tank, you know it's a chance to take the time to get himself healthy and sometimes change is good. It's okay to move on, it's okay to go to play for another franchise and try to do the things that you set out to accomplish when you first started. It'll be different for him, but he's not the first and he won't be the last.
Last one, give me an MVP pick right now, who ya got?
Right now, Lamar.