Sep 17, 2020
Ravens TE Mark Andrews Scores Big On Throws From Reigning League MVP Lamar Jackson
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mark Andrews’ sure hands and knack for finding the end zone have made him the favorite target of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who instinctively homes in on the versatile tight end when pressured in the pocket.
After hauling in a team-high 10 touchdown passes for Baltimore last season, Andrews scored twice Sunday in a 38-6 rout of Cleveland.He’s got the body of a tight end — 6-foot-5, 256 pounds — with the talent of a wide receiver.
“If it’s a DB guarding him, a safety or linebacker, it doesn’t really matter,” Jackson said. “He’s going to do a great job of getting open. He’s going to score a touchdown nine times out of 10. That’s my guy. He makes my job easier, for sure.”
Andrews played wide receiver in high school and was recruited by Oklahoma to play that position, but was asked to convert to tight end after a redshirt freshman season. He embraced the switch, and finished his college career as the school’s career leader in yards receiving (1,765) for a tight end, to go along with 112 catches and 22 TDs.
“I love the tight end position. It’s such a unique thing,” Andrews said Wednesday. “Once I decided to be a tight end and really invest into it, that’s when things started to click. It’s not a position where you can go in there and just run routes. It’s a tough position, a unique position, but for me, it fits really well.”
Drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft, Andrews had 34 catches as a rookie before blossoming in tune with Jackson last season. Andrews earned a Pro Bowl berth after catching 64 passes for 852 yards and leading all NFL tight ends in touchdowns.
Jackson gives much of the credit to Andrews for the duo’s success together, but Andrews sees things differently.
“It’s just a blessing to be able to play with him,” Andrews said of Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP. “He says I make his job easy, but it’s the other way around, for sure.”
Maybe it’s best to just say that Jackson and Andrews are good for each other.
“They’re both very talented and have a very good feel for the passing game,” coach John Harbaugh said. “They’ve developed a good feel for one another and how they’re going to react in different situations, and that’s what you see on the field.”
Sometimes, it just comes down to playing street ball. When a set play breaks down, Jackson and Andrews have the uncanny ability to turn a tough situation into a big gainer.
“It’s kind of something that happens,” Andrews said. “Him being able to scramble and then feel where I’m going to go, and I’m able to feel where he may throw the ball or where the open spot is.”
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman received kudos last season for devising an attack that relied heavily on the running game and Jackson’s ability to carry the ball or throw outside the pocket. Baltimore still wants to run, but intends to take advantage of Andrews’ unique skill set.
Andrews lined up on the outside on several occasions against the Browns. Although he’s not adverse to throwing a block or working free from inside the formation, Andrews won’t deny his affinity for playing the role of a wide receiver.
“I love being outside,” he said. ”It’s something I’m real comfortable with. I think it creates a little bit more mismatches for the defense.”
Inside or out, Andrews simply wants to contribute. Jackson calls him the best tight end in the league, and while Andrews won’t necessarily agree, he acknowledged that it’s a goal he wants to reach.
“I try not to put too much thought into that stuff. It’s just about going out every week, playing the best you can and doing everything you can to win games and help your team,” Andrews said. “But I want to be the best, and I’ve said that. I’ve been open about that.”
(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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LeBron Loses MVP Race To Giannis, Passes Jordan In Career MVP Votes
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (CBSLA/AP) — LeBron James makes history even when he loses.
The Lakers superstar came up short in the race for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, coming in second to Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose historic year earned him the award for a second consecutive season.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 06: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after his basket in front of Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center on March 06, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
James got the other 15 first-place votes and finished second, and James Harden of the Houston Rockets finished third. James has been first, second or third in the MVP voting now 11 times in his career, becoming the only player in NBA history to do so.
Dallas’ Luka Doncic was fourth, Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers was fifth and the Lakers’ Anthony Davis was sixth. Rounding out the top 12: Oklahoma City’s Chris Paul, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam, Miami’s Jimmy Butler and Boston’s Jayson Tatum.
While the 25-year-old Antetokounmpo becomes just the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining only Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, some NBA analysts – including ESPN’s Skip Bayless – said they thought James was robbed.
LeBron James shouldve won MVP.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) September 18, 2020
“Michael Jordan, one of the best players who’s ever done it, if not the best,” Antetokounmpo said. “Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I’m from, Nigeria, where I have roots. … Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me.”
Antetokounmpo — who was in his native Athens, Greece, with his family when the award was announced — received 85 votes from the 100-person panel of global sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league, plus the one additional vote granted by winning fan balloting.
“It feels good to get this award announced when I’m back home,” Antetokounmpo said, after telling NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — who was in possession of the trophy Friday — to hang on to the hardware until he returns to the U.S.
“I’m going to ship it to Greece,” Silver said during the televised announcement show on NBA TV.
“No, don’t do that,” Antetokounmpo replied. “I’ll come get it when the season starts.”
(Copyright 2020 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)