QB Jackson counters coach, says he'll run less

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Coach John Harbaugh recently said Lamar Jackson will run just as much as he did last season, but the Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback believes otherwise.

Jackson set the NFL single-season record in 2018 for rushing attempts by a quarterback with 147. He said on "The Rich Eisen Show" on Thursday that he doesn't expect to carry the ball as much as during his rookie season. Asked if he could sustain that physical aspect of the game, Jackson said: "Absolutely. I've put on weight. But I don't think I'll be running as much as I did last year. There were a lot of [run-pass options] and a lot of sudden changes in last year's game. This will be totally different."

Jackson took over for the injured Joe Flacco around midseason last year and led Baltimore to its first AFC North title in six years. In his seven starts, Jackson averaged 17 carries.

In May, owner Steve Bisciotti told Ravens season-ticket holders that he expects Jackson not to run as much, saying, "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised that Lamar is not going to be running 20 times a game."

The Ravens, though, do plan to use RPOs and other option plays as part of their new offense, which they believe could become revolutionary in the NFL.

In an interview on the NFL Network, it was brought up with Harbaugh that Cam Newton's career high in rushes for a season was 139. Asked about Jackson, Harbaugh said, "Take the over."

Jackson said he didn't view Harbaugh's comment as accurate.

"Not that I've been seeing," Jackson said. "I've been throwing the ball a lot [in practice], way more than running."

Many Ravens defensive players have spoken out to say they don't want Jackson to limit his runs. Last season, Jackson ran for 695 yards and five touchdowns.

"My thing with him is I don't want to get caught up in, 'You got to be a pocket passer, you got to be this,'" safety Earl Thomas said. "No, Lamar, you be who you are. Be special. If you have to take off, take off. Make the defense work."