NFL

Lamar Jackson needs to ‘tighten up his game,’ Ravens coach John Harbaugh says

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said star quarterback and reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson must “tighten up his game” amid his 2020 struggles.

Jackson took the league by storm during his MVP campaign in 2019 as the Ravens posted a 14-2 record before losing to the Titans in the AFC divisional playoffs He has found the going tougher during the early stages of this season.

Jackson ranks 27th in the league with 1,343 passing yards and 30th with 60.5 completion percentage (115 for 190). The 23-year-old has thrown 12 touchdowns and four interceptions through seven games.

As the Ravens (5-2) prepare to face the Colts on Sunday, Harbaugh told reporters on Friday: “He still has a lot to learn, but the great thing about Lamar is he recognizes that.

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“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.”

Harbaugh was also asked about three-time NFL Pro Bowler Dez Bryant, who joined Baltimore’s practice squad last month after having not played a snap since the 2017 season.

Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon in practice just two days after signing with the Saints in 2018. The 31-year-old wide receiver, who led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2014, came close to joining the Ravens previously. Bryant spent eight seasons with the Cowboys before leaving at the end of the 2017.

He will not be involved against the Colts, with Harbaugh saying: “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.

“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.”

Bryant’s best seasons came in Dallas, where the veteran had 531 receptions, 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns.

From 2012-14, Bryant had at least 88 catches, 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, while earning Pro Bowl selections in 2013, 2014 and 2016.

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