(WJZ)- The latest edition of EA Sports’ Madden NFL features Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on the cover. The 23-year-old has had many accomplishments in his football career, but he told former Ravens receiver and current NFL analyst Steve Smith Sr. none of them made him cry. The Madden cover did.

“They revealed to me the cover early,” said Jackson. “I don’t cry about stuff. I didn’t cry when I won the Heisman, I didn’t cry when I won all the other accolades. But when I seen the cover, I actually shed tears, like, ‘What the? It’s unreal.'”

Jackson, like many of us, grew up playing Madden, so to see himself on the cover was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

“That’s been a dream of mine all my life,” said Jackson. “I saw all of the greats on it. Tom Brady, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, I’ve seen everybody on it, Gronk too. So for me I was like man, I want to be on it too.”

Jackson was rated as the 3rd-best quarterback in the game this year when Madden began to reveal its ratings in July. His speed and running attributes in the game call to mind the memory of another unstoppable video game athlete, Madden NFL 2004’s Michael Vick. But, while the accolades and being on the cover is nice, Jackson is now focused on the improvements that he can make to his game.

“I’ll say everything. I really don’t feel like I have everything mastered. I’m still trying to chase perfection. There is so much I can get better at,” said Jackson. “The mental side of the game and my physical side of the game, I don’t want to be the reason my guys get slowed down on a touchdown. They’re wide open, they could have scored but I slowed them down on this pass. I want everything to be perfect.”

Jackson’s preparations for the season, like all players, have been altered by the coronavirus pandemic. But, when it comes to likely not having fans in the stands, he’s not worried about how it will affect the team’s play.

“I don’t think it will impact our game,” said Jackson. “But, you know we want to see the fans in the stands. It’s going to make that environment more hype. It’s going to give you that energy. But, regardless, we’re going to have to go out there and play.”


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