*Post bump Due To High Views* original post 9-12-16
Derby is over and everyone is getting back to some type of normalcy. Over the past week or so I was totally immersed into everything Derby. In doing so, I had a chance to talk to a lot of people from all different walks of life that I may not of had the chance to talk to otherwise. Interesting thing about that is when I wasn’t talking horses with theses people, I was talking U of L sports. More specifically Louisville football because that is my favorite sport. The questions I kept getting asked were ” How good is Lamar” and “Is he as good as Teddy.” My response every time was ” Lamar is really good” and ” He is not Teddy, He is Lamar.”
Coming off of a season that ended on a high note by winning the Music City bowl, winning six of the last seven games, a record-breaking performance by a freshman quarterback, and several key players opting to return to school instead of leaving for the NFL, the expectations for 2016-2017 season have really been escalated. The early preseason polls have Louisville ranked anywhere from 9th to out of the top 25. The majority have Louisville around 16th. I’m not much into preseason polls but in football if you are not ranked in the top fifteen in the first poll of the season then it’s incredibly hard to make it to the national championship game unless you are undefeated in a power 5 conference.
With all that optimism for next season, it places a lot of pressure on the team to live up to the expectations. That pressure lies on the whole team but no one will have more pressure on them than Lamar Jackson. Not only is everyone counting on him to lead us to the promise land, they are already comparing him to Teddy. I don’t think that is fair. He isn’t Teddy, he is Lamar Jackson.
I have seen all the statistical comparisons as freshman but I don’t think those are fair either. Teddy played under a defensive minded coach that didn’t want him to run but rather to check down to a secondary receiver or running back if the first option wasn’t open. Lamar is playing under an offensive minded coach who loves speed. Petrino would rather Lamar run if the first option isn’t open and they call running plays specifically for Lamar. Thus the fact that Teddy rushed for 66 yards his freshman year and Lamar rushed for 960.
The passing statistics are very interesting. Teddy’s completion percentage was 10% higher than Lamar’s as a freshman and Teddy averaged 10.5 more yards per game. To me you can’t really draw any conclusions from those numbers because you have to factor in the level of competition (ACC vs. Big East), the offensive line personnel, the receivers and the offensive system the coaches implemented.
I believe the only comparisons we should make between Teddy and Lamar is that they are both from south Florida, they are both great athletes and they both are Cardinals forever. Teddy is Teddy and his legacy as a Louisville Cardinal has been established over his three years as our quarterback.
Lamar is Lamar. His legacy is in progress and I, for one, am excited to watch him grow and to see where he falls into line of all the great Louisville quarterbacks that have come before him. I was excited to see his evolution as a passer at the spring game and I am looking forward to his improvement in the red zone as well as handing the ball off to the running backs. I also love following him on Instagram where you can see him enjoying being a college kid.
For now, let’s not compare Teddy and Lamar. Let’s let Lamar do his thing and when his eligibility at Louisville is over we can go back and compare stats. Let’s just get behind Lamar and support him and this team. The future is bright so let’s not put anymore pressure on these kids. We as fans should just sit back and watch this young team, led by Lamar, enjoy doing what they love to do.
Some pics of Lamar from the Spring Game ……
Here is a short highlight video of Lamar ……
As Always, GO CARDS!