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“I wanted to win a National Championship in college, I got Heisman. I wanted to win a Super Bowl, I got MVP. And still, I want to win that Super Bowl.” - Jackson

Coverage of Ravens-Bengals Begins with Football Night in America at 7 p.m. ET; Followed by 8:20 p.m. ET Kickoff

STAMFORD, Conn. – Oct. 9, 2022 – In advance of the Ravens hosting the Bengals tonight on Sunday Night Football, Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson spoke to Maria Taylor for tonight’s episode of Football Night in America, which begins at 7 pm ET on NBC and Peacock.

Jackson discussed his role in changing how the game is played, when he realized he could make it in the NFL, and being determined to play the quarterback position in college.

Click here to watch the full interview, a portion of which will air in tonight’s FNIA. Following are highlights of the interview:

On how he feels hearing kids are pretending to be Lamar Jackson playing football in the backyard

“That’s crazy. I ain’t ever look at it like that either, though. That’s dope. That’s touching really, because I was one of them kids, like, ‘Oh, I’m Michael Vick today. I’m (going to) be Tom Brady, I want to throw like ten touchdowns.’ … Hopefully, you know, I got like 20 more years in me.”

On when he realized he could play in the NFL

“Youth football. I already told my teachers I was going to the NFL. When I first started playing with pads on in 2004, like when I started playing and scoring touchdowns and stuff. I still didn’t understand the game really because I didn’t watch it. I wouldn’t watch football, I just knew how to play it and, my teacher wrote down stuff like, ‘What’s your goal?’ I’m like, ‘Be an NFL player.’ I always said that whenever my teachers would make us write something like what’s your goals in life, what do you want to be when you grow up? I’d say NFL football player. So I pretty much already had that. That was plan A and B.”

On his goals and being named the NFL MVP in 2019

“I always want to win the highest award, a championship. I want to win a Super Bowl. I always wanted to win a Super Bowl. I won one in youth football. I didn’t win States in high school. I wanted that, I end up getting MVP. I wanted to win a National Championship in college, I got Heisman. I wanted to win a Super Bowl, I got MVP. And still, I want to win that Super Bowl. I still want to win that National Championship though, at the end of the day.”

On his MVP award

“I was happy about it, but it was like, man, I wanted this ring this year. Like my teammates and I worked so hard, we had a great team that season. Shout out to those guys because they helped me get that award too, you know it’s an MVP individualized award, but it’s a team award at the end of the day because they helped me.”

On being given No. 8 when he was drafted by Baltimore and the nickname New Era 8

“In the locker was eight. So, I hit my mom up, I’m like, ‘Man, I got number eight. Like who wears number 8?’ Like Kobe (Bryant) had number eight, but that was like early in his career. But I’m like, ‘Man who wears number eight?’ Like, I don’t like that number. And she was like, ‘Number eight stands for new beginnings.’ … It was like New Era, then I’m listening to New Era promotions as a kid. I’m like New Era, New Era 8. Oh yeah, I’ll have to change my name to New Era 8.”

On why some people wanted him to play a different position going into college

“Probably because they’re not used to seeing a quarterback, like, so shifty and fast at the same time. It just takes away from me throwing the ball. Like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s a good runner, he’s a great runner.’ But you don’t give me credit for throwing. I probably threw like seven touchdowns (in a) game, but they’re like, ‘Did you see that highlight of his run?’ So, it is what it is…We weren’t going for no other position (in college). Because I know I could’ve played another position but it was like, I’m a quarterback, I never played that. I’m not fitting to let you force me to play a position I’m not wanting to do, I’m not used to playing.”


Football Night in America is hosted by Maria Taylor and this week features Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl champion Rodney Harrison, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms, NFL Insider Mike Florio, and fantasy sports industry pioneer Matthew Berry. This week’s show is also co-hosted by Kathryn Tappen.

Football Night, the most-watched studio show in sports since its debut in 2006, begins every Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The coordinating producer of FNIA is Matt Casey. FNIA is directed by Kaare Numme.