Lamar Jackson says returning home to South Florida ‘would be great’

INDIANAPOLIS – The Miami Dolphins have met with quarterback Lamar Jackson at the NFL Combine. Jackson told the media on Friday, that he would be more than happy to return home.

Jackson, a native of Pompano Beach, Florida is familiar with the Dolphins’ roster and believes he would mesh well with the team’s current running backs and wide receivers.

“I love the Sunshine State,” Jackson said. “You know I’m from there – Pompano Beach Florida. It would be great, I love the feeling down there; I love the sunshine. You know I love DeVante Parker and those guys out there – Kenyan Drake, [Kenny] Stills. I love those boys – Jarvis Landry, that would be a great offense.”

Jackson captured America’s heart and the Heisman Trophy with his play in 2016. He followed his Heisman-Trophy-winning season with 3,660 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air, and 1,601 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in 2017.

While his numbers are akin to a created player in Madden, Jackson vows to take his game to another level upon entering the NFL.

“It’s going to be a different Lamar – a leveled-up Lamar, not the same as college. … I’m going to level up a lot more. I have a lot of learning to do – I’m just ready.”

Despite being one of the more productive quarterbacks in college, Jackson’s playing style has been met with scrutiny. Former NFL quarterback turned analyst for NFL Network and former Bills and Colts general manager Bill Polian completely ignored Jackson’s passing skill en route to labeling him a wide receiver.

During Jackson’s time at the podium during the Combine, Jackson confirmed that playing any position other than quarterback is completely off of the table.

“Whoever likes me at quarterback, that’s where I’m going, that’s strictly my position,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to be a wide receiver at all tomorrow [during workouts] – quarterback position.”

Jackson did admit that suggesting that he should play a position other than he’s played his entire life is somewhat disrespectful, considering all of his accomplishments as a quarterback.

“That’s crazy! I though I did a good job as a quarterback. I really thought I did! [laughter] But hey, they say what they want to say. … I’m here now, I’m at the Combine, I just have to show off my abilities.

For pundits who have misevaluated Jackson, he hears their critiques loud and clear, and it’s evident that their assessments of his play are fuel for fire.

“I love putting a chip on my shoulder. It just motivates me to go out there and show my ability.”

Jackson transcends the term “rookie quarterback” because his athleticism will always give his team a chance to win. If Miami is to select a quarterback with its No. 1 pick, Jackson is the only rookie quarterback their veteran-laden locker room would be able to get behind because he gives them a chance to win – right now.

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Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.