Mike Vick to Lamar Jackson: 'Proceed with caution'

The man who personified the running quarterback for a generation has some advice for the hotshot rookie who looks like the next great scampering signal-caller.

Mike Vick, who has long supported Lamar Jackson, warned the Baltimore Ravens rookie to "proceed with caution" on taking so many hits.

"With quarterbacks, we're not used to getting hit all the time," Vick told ESPN's Jamison Hensley on Tuesday. "When we do it, it can either get you into the game or it can shake you up a little bit. It's not like a guy sitting in the pocket, you run the risk of getting injured. I'm not saying that should deter Lamar or scare him; I'm just saying proceed with caution."

Jackson has rushed the ball 37 times for 190 yards and a touchdown in the first two starts of his career. On the season the quarterback has 65 rushing attempts for 329 yards and two scores -- already 34 more carries than Vick did his rookie season in Atlanta.

The Ravens rode Jackson hard in his first start, calling his number 26 times on the ground. In his second game, that number went down to 11 attempts as Baltimore consciously tried to develop the passing attack.

Vick, who holds the NFL record with 6,109 rushing yards by a quarterback, never carried the ball more than 15 times in a game and had double-digit totes in 25 of his 143 career games. The former QB, however, says the hits on 837 career rushes added up.

"Later on in my career, I did feel it more," Vick said. "It took a longer time for my legs to come back. Six-thousand yards are a lot, but I'm in the record books."

The key for Jackson and the Ravens will be mitigating the big hits. As Cam Newton has repeatedly said when defending his running ability, some of the biggest hits a QB takes come in the pocket, not on the run. However, Jackson doesn't have the framework Newton possesses, and the hits could take a bigger toll.

Some signal-callers own an uncanny ability to avoid taking huge shots. Russell Wilson is the preeminent player in this regard, always seeming to get down or out of trouble before the defender can land a big blow. Robert Griffin III, Jackson's backup the past two weeks, was perhaps the inverse. RGIII couldn't avoid hits and slid worse than a 7-year-old little leaguer.

Vick, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football, played under Jackson's offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach James Urban in Philadelphia in 2010 -- Vick's last Pro Bowl season.

"I know he's in good hands," said Vick, who is now a TV analyst for FOX. "He's very lucky to get that at a young age as a rookie."

With Jackson slated to make his third start of the season, it will be immensely intriguing to see how the Ravens staff evolves the offense for a still-growing passer with a game-changing dynamic ability to run the ball.

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