What does Lamar Jackson’s weight loss mean for the Ravens? | The Exempt List

Yahoo Sports NFL writer Charles McDonald is joined by The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz to discuss the NFL MVP dropping 25 pounds this offseason and what it could mean for his approach to the 2024 season. Hear the full conversation on “The Exempt List with Charles McDonald” – part of the “Zero Blitz” podcast – and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

Lamar Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP is according to Diana Russini is 205 right now, 25 drop off from where he was last year.

Um Why, I don’t know why does Lamar Jackson have to get faster?

Like you have plenty of speed, just stay on, stay healthy.

Well, because even at 230 last year, the thing is like, even when I remember when scouting Lamar at Louisville, it’s like, yeah, he’s fast but he’s not the fastest player in the NFL.

You know, the, the value comes from him being able to make people miss and then accelerating him off of that.

Um, and even at 230 it’s not like that was an issue for him last season, you know, maybe he’s not, um, maybe he’s not putting up like the same rushing stats.

He was like during the 2019 MVP season, but he’s still absolutely one of the most fearful players with the ball in his hand once he gets moving downfield.

So to get down to 205, I was just like, dude, that’s, that’s way too small.

I wonder what that mean.

Like, I wonder what it means for the offense, I, I think there is some signal there that like they drafted Devin Leary at the end of the, the third round which has gone against like how they’ve, they’ve acquired their backups for Lamar.

It’s always been like, oh, we want someone like Lamar and then bringing in le he’s like, we want someone the opposite of Lamar because Leary is nothing like that.

So I do wonder if this is like a signal that maybe we’re not gonna lean on the, the quarterback run game as much going forward, which I would like as a Lamar fan, I would be happy to see that because I think he’s a quarterback talented enough to kind of, you know, still be a top quarterback without that part of his game, like being a heavy part of his game.

So maybe that’s what this is about and they don’t want him taking the punishment because he’s just not going to be in harm’s way.

If that’s the case, then I’m all for it.

But if they’re gonna continue to call plays the same way, I’d rather have, uh, have Lamar with some armor on his body.


And also I think it’s good for them to, for him to stay up at like the 230 area because this offensive vibe is going through a little bit of a transition this year.

You know, Morgan Moses is off with the Jets.

You’ve got most likely a rookie starting at right tackle in Rosengard who they drafted from uh Washington, you got, you lost John Simpson to the Jets.

So there’s going to be some, you know, movement on the interior.

And also Ronnie Stanley still kind of a TBD in terms of like if he ever gets back to um the pre meters and Achilles tears version of himself because Ronnie’s interesting, like he’ll have spurts maybe for like five plays a game in a row where he’s like, oh, there he is, there’s the old Ronnie, but it’s still hard for him to put it all together.

So I don’t, I think of Lamar with what on paper could be a Patrick offensive line man.

You better get back in that cafeteria.

Maybe it’s more faith than we do.

But, yeah, they got like, Ben Cleveland starting now.

They got basically a rookie starting at, uh, at left guard too and a real rookie starting at right tackle.

Yeah, it’s gonna, it could, it could be rough early on.

I do think it will help them early on later on because one thing that was kind of undercovered about this team was how weak the offensive line really was at the end of the year when they played the Chiefs.

I think we were both at that game.

I asked Dr Tranquil in the, uh, in the locker room, like, because a big talking point was how they didn’t run the ball more.

The Ravens and he was like, well, I just, they didn’t have anything at the point of attack.

Like, they tried to, like, knock us back and we were knocking them back and that’s why they couldn’t run the football.

So I think getting a good offensive line will allow them to, like, call a more diverse game and maybe they won’t just fall on Lamar like they did last year in the playoffs.


So we’ll see how the 205 goes.

Honestly, man, these guys can change their bodies so fast.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamar is like, once August rolls around, if he’s like 220.

Yeah, I don’t know because I remember last year when I went to Ravens camp did a story in their offense and Odell had, it was one of the first days Odell was talking to the media as a Raven and he was like, you know, it’s kind of a slow ramp up in terms of sometimes how you peak out.

So he was like, I want to be at my peak in week 10, not in week two.

So maybe this is like a ramp up period for Lamar.

But, you know, some of these guys, they really do just exist on a different plane physically.

So Lamar is one of those guys who could probably get up to 220 by August and be totally fine and not have any issues with it.

But, you know, late May 2 05.

I do think that that’s a newsworthy point to talk about for a second.

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