Bill Polian admits “I was wrong” about Lamar Jackson

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It’s not an easy thing to say, whether you’re Arthur Fonzarelli or a Hall of Fame General Manager.

But Bill Polian is able to admit it now, even though he might have been the last one to do so.

Polian told Jarrett Bell of USA Today “I was wrong” about Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson being a wide receiver in the NFL.

“I was wrong, because I used the old, traditional quarterback standard with him, which is clearly why John Harbaugh and Ozzie Newsome were more prescient than I was,” Polian said. “And Greg [Roman] found a way in how he’s developed a system to use those dynamic skills. Bottom line, I was wrong.”

Of course, plenty of people saw something else in that old, traditional quarterback standard, since he didn’t suggest that Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold or Josh Allen or Josh Rosen should change positions, while praising their abilities as passers. At the moment, none of those four are involved in any MVP discussions.

Much like when Polian claimed he had a first-round grade on Tom Brady (even though he didn’t take any of the five chances to draft him before the Patriots did), Polian claimed that he was right, in a way.

“I said that in that draft, with the ball in his hand, he’s the most dynamic player in the draft,” Polian said of Jackson.

It’s easy to pick on Polian for the big wrongs, but he also has a bust in Canton for the many times he was right while building three teams. That’s part of the danger of being conscripted into the hot-take-industrial complex. At least his pride and stubbornness (which is both well-earned and part of his great success) didn’t lead him to insist he was correct, long after everyone realized he was not.

57 responses to “Bill Polian admits “I was wrong” about Lamar Jackson

  1. His claim to fame is he drafted Peyton Manning number 1. An all-time great quarterback but Polian could not put enough talent around him to win more than one Super Bowl ….. luckily it was against Rex Grossman.

  2. Lamar Jackson is a premier athlete. Any position, any sport, whatever position he wanted to play I think he would Excel. Works hard and studies to be the best.

  3. Lamar Jackson is the smartest and best quarterback I’ve ever seen. Best since RG3 and Kaepernick that’s for sure. These pocket passers who can read defenses are a thing of the past.

  4. I wonder if Booger will do the same when the Ravens play on Monday night in a few weeks, as he was one of the idiots who said Lamar would be a WR in the NFL as well.

  5. Can they rescind his gold jacket? At some point don’t all the negatives outweigh the positive things he did?

  6. I know I’ll get grief for this but with all the rule changes made to protect the QB this guy had 16 carries against the Pats. They’ve designed an offense around him and they are willing to roll the dice and hope he goes a full season. No risk, no reward I suppose…

  7. The most overrated man in football. Is he going to admit he was wrong in a few dozen other things? All this guy did, was what any idiot off the street would have done and taken Manning with the first pick in the draft. Seriously, I would have made that pick as well and I’d be running around the league now talking out of the side of my neck claiming I know/knew everything. The only thing this guy has done for the league, is make it impossible to cover a wide receiver without getting a PI call.

  8. It’s ok Bill. Folks said the same thing about Julian Edelmen and Antonio Brown when they came out……

  9. “Bill, I forgot more about football than you’ll ever know.” — Former HC of the NYJ

  10. “Remember RGIII?

    Yeah, me neither.”

    Maybe you should refresh your memory because before his knee injury he was amazing. A rookie who completed 65% of his passes with 20 TDs vs just 5 INTs and 102 QB rating. Oh, and he also rushed for over 800 yards.

  11. We can all thank Bill for ruining how DBs are allowed to cover WRs beyond 5 yards…. He needed a rules change so Peyton and his Colts wouldn’t get bounced in the first round of the playoffs year after year

  12. Football is constantly evolving. Its important for coaching and front office to stay current with the times.

  13. Maybe you should refresh your memory because before his knee injury he was amazing. A rookie who completed 65% of his passes with 20 TDs vs just 5 INTs and 102 QB rating. Oh, and he also rushed for over 800 yards

    That’s his point these types of “QBs” don’t last.
    It’s been proven over and over.

  14. I love watching Jackson play but…as far as the hype goes…take away those gaudy stats from week one against an historically awful Miami squad and his numbers are, well, that of a running QB. RG III was a much better passer statistically before he got hurt.

  15. Yeah I like Jackson as a player, he’s a better passing Michael Vick. Which is pretty awesome to watch. But he is pretty small & is gonna take a lot of punishment. Let’s see where we are in 3-4 years. Hopefully he stays healthy, because he is electrifying.

  16. That’s true. He’s actually a running back.
    I’m sorry guys, but he’s just not a good QB, can’t read defenses, and that junk college offense never makes it in the NFL.

  17. There really shouldn’t even be any props for him admitting he was wrong. As a scout, him not understanding Lamar’s talent sounds as if he was playing more so on a coded scale. I’m not buying the excuse. He was the most talented quarterback in the draft.

  18. Polian just abandoned the people who constantly criticize Lamar, Deshaun, Cam, and Kyler. Interesting what those QBs have in common, and why are certain group hates them.

  19. Polian just abandoned the people who constantly criticize Lamar, Deshaun, Cam, and Kyler. Interesting what those QBs have in common, and why are certain group hates them.

  20. “I was wrong” is what a real man says when he is being a man. I have even more respect for him for taking ownership in the error of his ways. Only time will tell if he has learned from this MONSTROUS miscalculation. Next time he might want to give a Heisman trophy a punchers chance. He gave Lamar almost no chance. I guess he’s the anti Matt Leinart.

  21. Longevity is what makes great players memorable. There are many players who had a great season or two then fade away.

    Jackson is doing a good job in Baltimore. He is leading his team and they are winning. I will reserve my vote into the HOF for now.

  22. For all the short sighted comments bashing Polian for his lone success in drafting Manning, let me remind you he was the architect of the Bills Super Bowl teams and built the Panthers early in their franchise. His record is as good as any GM out there

  23. “His claim to fame is he drafted Peyton Manning number 1.”

    As a Patriot fan, I can’t stand Polian, bu he did go to the Super Bowl with the Bills 3 times. So, even though I also deserve a bust in the Hall of Fame like the rest of us commenters, I am going to give him a pass on being more than “drafting Peyton Manning”.

  24. “jimjets says:
    November 6, 2019 at 3:15 pm
    old, boring blowhard. He never, ever shuts up and knows “everything”

    It’s literally his job to talk about football.

  25. This guy is a tool. He never built anything. Those Buffalo teams were put together before he got there. The Panthers were a one-hit wonder,and he’s the main reason Manning only got one ring in Indy. So that he missed so spectacularly on Jackson and also didn’t see Mahomes or Watson coming in their drafts let’s you know that he’s not that ggreat at talent evaluation.

  26. I was surprised at how much of a playmaker he was in that Sunday night game. My only concern for him is his health. History shows that running QBs have short careers–or at least have a shorter prime of their career because of the punishment they take running the ball. If he can manage to stay healthy he is going to cause a lot of defensive coordinators nightmares.

  27. The haters love to tell others to pump the brakes when you’re merely complimenting a player. The guy is fun to watch for his ability, and easy to root for because of his humble personality.

  28. So was Chris Grier, you know, the guy who is in charge of the Dolphins future with all these draft picks? Per Omar Kelly (Sun Sentinel), Dolphins OWNER, Stephen Ross wanted Gase, Tannenbaum and Grier to take Jackson with their first pick, but he stepped aside and let his “football guys” ultimately make the selection and they took Grier’s guy, Minkah Fitzpatrick, who as we know, quit on the team and was traded to Pittsburgh.

  29. He’s a playmaker, but he still sucks throwing the ball. 5-7 year career, then he’ll be Cam Newton.

  30. Funny how the NFL thinks running QBs can just migrate to receiver without even seeing if they can catch the ball.

  31. People who are genuinely concerned about him getting injured, I get it. It’s fair to question if it will last. But as a Ravens fan, who outside of the 2012 Super Bowl run, has seen nothing but mediocre to terrible offenses, I’m enjoying the ride.

    And please stop the comparisons to RGIII. Lamar is a QB who has RB vision and agility, and he’s waaaay faster than RGIII. RGIII was wreckless when he ran. He got hurt against the Ravens. He was lowering his shoulder and trying to take on tacklers, and he didn’t have the instincts/vision like a RB. Lamar has yet to take a hard hit. It’s very difficult to square up on him because of how shifty he is. Watch the film. His instincts are amazing. He gets out of bounds or down 75% of the time. The other times, he adjusts his body right before he’s being tackled so the defender doesn’t hit him squarely. There are QBs who have been hit in the pocket this season more than Lamar has been tackled, and that’s worse because you are just standing and many times can’t adjust or brace for how your body will receive the impact. Most QBs, including running QBs get hurt in the pocket, not running.

    I’m not saying he won’t get hurt eventually, every player who puts on a uniform is in danger of being hurt at any point, including from a non contact injury. I’m not even saying that this is sustainable. Forget getting injured, father time is undefeated. Some of the first things to go as we age is speed, agility, and reaction time. It’s common sense that Lamar probably won’t be able to do this 8 years from now. But not every player has or gets to play 20 years. Look at the average shelf life of an NFL player regardless of reason. If Lamar can give the Ravens a good 6 years of this, in my opinion that’s a success. If he continues to improve as a passer as he did from year one to year two, he could be very special.

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