Ben Roethlisberger Says Defenses Aren’t Scared Of Lamar Jackson, Not As Effective As Pocket Passer

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Bygones are never bygones in the AFC North. Ex-Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gave his assessment of Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson during a recent podcast episode of “Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger.”

Jackson’s play remains under a telescope amid negotiations with the Ravens’ front office. He’s also the focus of the organization’s recent signing of Odell Beckham, Jr. While Lamar’s running ability is second to none in terms of QBs, his passing ability has been subject to debate.

Will a team sign Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson? (Credit: Getty Images)
(Credit: Getty Images)

Some say that because of his running, Jackson has become a tepid pocket passer. Roethlisberger argued that defenses aren’t worried about Lamar when he’s throwing the ball.

Defenses Aren’t Scared of Lamar, Says Roethlisberger

“With Lamar, you want to bring safeties down to help stop the run,” Roethlisberger commented. “You don’t really fear Lamar’s accuracy all the time. He’s got a huge arm. He can make things happen when he scrambles, but you don’t fear him just sitting in the pocket and picking you apart.

Considering the guy once threw for 36 touchdowns and six interceptions in a season, Lamar’s still got his critics.

Roethlisberger’s acute understanding of defenses does shed light on how defenses treat Lamar because of his running.

“You bring safeties down because you do fear him running because he’s a different level runner, so you fear that,” he added. “But now, if you’ve got that guy on the outside, you better put a safety back or it’s one-on-one, you can just throw it to him.

“So it definitely creates some potential opportunities for that offense and for Lamar to run if he has to or to take those big shots down the field if he needs to if they bring those safeties down.” 

Ben Roethlisberger
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

The Steelers QB Knew How To Dance in the Pocket

Despite his big frame at 6-foot-4, 240 lbs., Roethlisberger was known for being able to evade defenders as he perused downfield for the right reads from the pocket. Big Ben retired from the NFL in 2021, leaving a massive void under center for the Steelers.

If not for Terry Bradshaw, Roethlisberger would have retired as the undisputed best Steelers QB ever.

Meanwhile, Baltimore’s situation with Lamar remains in Limbo as both sides continue to disagree on the deal’s guaranteed money.

Lamar’s critics and the Ravens are keen on whether Jackson deserves the money. If not for his inabilities in the pocket, then for his propensity to get injured.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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