Everyone strives to be perfect, but Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson actually was perfect Sept. 8.
Jackson had about as good of a season opener as a quarterback could have, completing 17 of 20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating during Baltimore's 59-10 blowout victory against the Miami Dolphins.
The performance was the culmination of a productive offseason, according to personal quarterback coach Joshua Harris.
"To come out and have this type of game [Sept. 8], man, it was just what the doctor ordered," Harris said on
Glenn Clark Radio
Sept. 9. "I think it's just that momentum now going throughout the season is just a spring boost to seeing this guy, QB1, a real quarterback and somebody who can lead the Ravens to success."
With the way last season ended -- a 14-for-29, 194-yard performance in Baltimore's 23-17 wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Chargers -- Jackson had a lot of doubters entering 2019. Harris has tracked those doubters on social media. In fact, he even used that negativity to motivate Jackson.
"The one thing that has always amazed me about him is I've never seen a person who when told they can't do something, locks in and focuses like he does," Harris said. "Once I saw he was a person that thrived off of criticism, I use it to my advantage all the time. It's one my main motivational tools."
Though Jackson struggled against the Chargers, it helps that Jackson was in that pressure-packed situation at the end of last season because he knows how to deal with that going forward.
"Lamar's a perfectionist. There's nothing a media person or a fan can say that Lamar hasn't already thought about," Harris said. "I just like to poke at the bear because I know it gets the best out of him. Lamar was dead set on fixing the [easy throws] and just doing what he knows he can do."
Jackson showed off his arm in a big way Sept. 8, completing four 30-plus-yard passes, including his 47-yard and 83-yard touchdown passes to rookie receiver Marquise Brown. Harris knew beforehand that something special may be brewing.
"I had a hint," Harris said. "I do know the focus was to make him that ultimate weapon and to throw the ball and make his running just a bonus."
The Jackson Ravens fans saw Sept. 8 is one they should get used to, according to Harris, who said Jackson really enjoys being a pocket quarterback.
"He's always wanted to be in the pocket," Harris said. "He's always a young man who tries to keep his eyes downfield."
Jackson thrived in the pocket, setting single-game highs in just about every category: passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns, passer rating and QBR.
That's a testament to working with Harris and quarterback coach Tom House, whom Harris has modeled a lot of his own drills after. Harris said what he did with Jackson was "in the same vein" as what Jackson did with House during the offseason.
Overall, Week 1 was an ideal start to Jackson's tenure as the unquestioned starter for the Ravens. Harris enjoyed watching it while strutting around his Miami home in his Ravens jacket. However, he knows there's a lot of work left to do and Week 1 is just the beginning.
"I think the key to any player is consistency," Harris said. "What I want to see is the consistency of being confident, being in control, being calm, being disciplined in the pocket and just being able to spread the ball around," Harris said. "From the mental aspect, that is what we focused on this offseason. It was a treat to watch it yesterday."
For more from Harris, listen to the full interview here: