Lamar Jackson | Courtesy of baltimoreravens.com

Taking Flight: University of Louisville fighting football Cardinal alum Lamar Jackson helped push the Baltimore Ravens well past the Rams of Los Angeles Thursday night, says ESPN, Los Angeles Times, Final score: Ravens 33, Rams 7.

In his second preseason appearance for the Ravens, Jackson scored on an eight-yard scamper to the end zone that looked reminiscent of any given Saturday here at Cardinal Stadium.

Said Ravens coach John Harbaugh:

It was a great run. I thought he was tackled twice, and then he wasn’t. So, that was good. You can always appreciate that if he’s on your team.

Said Jackson of the play:

They tried to get to me, and I made a guy miss. Then I did what I do best and tried to get in the end zone.

The NFL posted a highlight clip featuring “Every Lamar Jackson Throw & Run vs. Rams.”

 

CBS Sports says “Lamar Jackson shows marked improvement in second preseason game for Ravens.” Last week against the Chicago Bears, he showed great promise, but struggled, completing 40 percent of his passes for 33-yards with a touchdown and an interception. That’s pretty much what a rookie is supposed to do in his first game, but he’s not just any rookie.

Last week was also a learning experience on the jump in speed and intensity from college to the NFL. He told Sporting News:

All 11 are running to the ball. There’s no one back there jogging, trying to take a break. All 11 are there to the ball. People are trying to feed their families. It’s a grown-man game.

It is a grown-man game.

Joe Flacco, returning from injury, is set to take back his job as the starter this season and, by all accounts, looks great so far. Jackson will compete with Robert Griffin III for the backup role, though the Ravens have already said Jackson will see playing time this year in certain formations and situations.

When my copy of Madden 19 arrives today, I’ll make him the starter there and see how we do.

 

Teddy Bridgewater | Courtesy wdef.com

The Return: Another Cardinal NFL story for you: Teddy Bridgewater, Lamar Jackson’s predecessor, will take the field once more after a long injury recovery, says ESPN, NFL.com and Newsday. He’ll play Friday night in the preseason opener for the New York Jets as they take on the Falcons of Atlanta.

Bridgewater suffered a horrific knee injury while practicing with the Minnesota Vikings that forced him to miss all of the 2016 season and most of 2017. Here’s how ESPN described the scene following the injury:

Several players threw their helmets and shouted expletives as they scattered, and many simultaneously dropped to one knee in prayer. Moments later, a siren-blaring ambulance pulled into the team’s Winter Park headquarters, stayed for about 10 minutes and then pulled away.

The team called off Tuesday’s practice — its last of the preseason — after Bridgewater was injured.

The injury was so disturbing and upsetting, the team just said, “OK, let’s go home.”

So with that in mind, his return is a huge accomplishment.

He told ESPN’s Rich Cimini:

Right now, I’m doing everything I dreamed of doing — and that’s waking up and continuing to play football. It’s a wonderful feeling. It gives me chills right now to think about it, knowing how the previous two years were.

He says he took his recovery strategy from his mother, Rose, a breast cancer survivor:

Her biggest thing was to stay positive. She said the cancer feeds off negativity. So after her remaining positive with what she went through, I’m not going to allow any negative thoughts to creep in.

CBS News says rumors of a potential trade are in the air. The Jets are stacked at quarterback, with rookie Sam Darnold performing well enough in camp to potentially start, so if Bridgewater plays well tonight, the Jets could see some interest and get some much-needed support in other areas, and Bridgewater could go somewhere he might see more playing time.

Rand Paul | Courtesy Lexington Herald-Leader

Scarlet Letter: There seems to be some issue as to the intent of a letter Sen. Rand Paul delivered in Russia this week.

On Wednesday, Sen. Paul said he delivered a letter from President Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin, says NPR, TIME, ABC News and USA Today.

But then a few hours later, says Newsweek, the White House issued a different statement as to the letter’s intent:

So from that version, it’s like telling everyone you were asked to make dinner but having mom come in and say you asked to set the table.

CNN obtained a copy of the letter from a U.S. official:

I would like to introduce Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a voice for expanding dialogue with the Russian Federation. He will be in Moscow from August 5 to August 8.

Senator Paul would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss several topics. He is interested in legislative exchanges, parliamentary dialogue and cultural and educational exchange programs, increased counterterrorism cooperation, building on recent successes like the disruption of the St. Petersburg plot and resolution of the military conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Thank you for considering meeting with Senator Paul during his visit to Russia.

Bill Whitaker and Jennifer Lawrence ⎜CBS NEWS

Rerun: 60 Minutes re-aired its February interview with Jennifer Lawrence on Sunday. Don’t know why, exactly. The original aired in front of the release of “Red Sparrow” so it would make sense they’d bring it back for the DVD release, but that was in May. So, who knows?

Regardless, it’s worth a second look as it chronicles her “surprising trip to the top of Hollywood,” which to hear her tell it, should come as no surprise, really. The drive was already there at age 14.

Jennifer Lawrence: I struggled through school. I never felt very smart, and when I’m reading this script, and I feel like I know exactly what it would look like if somebody felt that way. That was a whole part of my brain that I didn’t even know existed, something that I could be confident in, and I didn’t want to let it go.

Bill Whitaker: What was it you wanted so much?

Jennifer Lawrence: It’s so hard to explain it was just an overwhelming feeling of, “I get this. This is what I was meant to do.” And to get people to try to understand that when you’re 14 years old, wanting to drop out of school and do this and your parents are just, like, “You’re out of your mind.”

Bill Whitaker: Did you finish up high school?

Jennifer Lawrence: I dropped out of middle school. I don’t technically have a GED or a diploma. I am self-educated.

Bill Whitaker: Do you regret that?

Jennifer Lawrence: No, I really don’t. I wanted to forge my own path. I found what I wanted to do, and I didn’t want anything getting in the way of it, and even friends for many years were not as important to me as my career. I mean, from the age of 14.

They also talk about her nude scene in the movie as a form of reclamation following the celebrity hacking and photo leak of 2014, which saw personal photos of Lawrence and other celebrities distributed over the internet.

Bill Whitaker: You told us that you didn’t like doing movies with a lot of sex in it, but “Red Sparrow” is all about sex. Why’d you change your mind?

Jennifer Lawrence: I read this script that I’m dying to do, and the one thing that’s getting in my way is nudity, and I realized there’s a difference between consent and not. And I showed up for the first day and I did it, and I felt empowered. I feel like something that was taken from me I got back and am using in my art.

Bill Whitaker: And that hacking incident, did it just vaporize?

Jennifer Lawrence: It didn’t vaporize, but I did feel like I took the power out of — out of having my — my body taken from me. I felt like I — I took it back and I could, and I — and I could almost own it again.

Bill Whitaker: Are you worried that audiences won’t see it the way you see it?

Jennifer Lawrence: I was, but it doesn’t matter. It’s my body, and it’s my art, and it’s my choice. And if you don’t like boobs, you should not go see “Red Sparrow.”

The marketing department missed a real opportunity there for a tagline.

Last week, the big news was she and relatively new boyfriend Cooke Maroney were holding hands as they went to lunch. Well, they’re at it again, only this time they’ve taken their hand-holding from New York to Paris, says Vogue, Entertainment Tonight and the loathed E!

See you next week.

Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.


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