When it comes to helping (and planning against) great quarterbacks, few people might have a better understanding of the position than Belichick. From coaching Tom Brady for two decades to trying to defend greats like Peyton Manning, Belichick has certainly been around the block.
With the Patriots facing the Ravens (-2.5) this Sunday, Belichick’s praise toward Jackson’s direction on Wednesday was noteworthy. One of the greatest coaches of all time knows what Jackson is capable of. As anonymous people in the league continue to lob what feels like unwarranted criticisms at the Ravens’ superstar, Belichick isn’t buying it.
For someone who usually keeps tight-lipped about most situations in public, Belichick didn’t mince his words in complimenting the Baltimore talisman:
“… He’s the type of player that’s an MVP candidate.”
It doesn’t get any more succinct or salient than that. (Note: After winning the award in 2019, Jackson became one of only two unanimous MVPs in NFL history after Tom Brady in 2010).
Belichick also knows firsthand how the multifaceted Jackson can tear apart his own defensive scheme. In two career games against Belichick’s Patriots, Jackson is a combined 41-of-57 for 412 passing yards and three touchdowns and has gashed New England for 116 rushing yards (on 4.3 yards per carry) and two scores on the ground. The Ravens went 1-1 in both affairs.
As Jackson plays this season without the mega (fully guaranteed) contract he was seeking, acclaim like this from one of the best to ever roam a sideline holds more weight. And hey, perhaps Belichick will end up being right: Jackson’s next deal, wherever it happens, will very likely reflect his status as a superstar signal caller.
Who knows? It might even happen in New England.