OTA’s for the Baltimore Ravens have begun and already, they have lost Tavon Young and Dennis Pitta for the year, including a probably career ending injury for Pitta. It’s been known among Ravens fans that Pitta has been Joe Flacco’s security blanket since he was drafted in 2010.
For many years, Flacco has been given a pass for having so many different coordinators or the offensive line not being healthy enough and on and on and on. These excuses have to stop right now. Flacco has been a starting QB in the NFL for 10 years when you count this upcoming season. He wasn’t asked to do much, in a leadership role, because Ray Lewis was still running out of the tunnel, but now the team will only go as far as he wants to take them.
In the 2012-13 playoffs, we saw one of the best QB performances of all time from Flacco, tying the great Joe Montana by throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. If you are a Ravens fan, you probably said that was the moment he finally arrived, after years of Elvis Grbac and Kyle Boller, Baltimore had its own Elite QB for the first time since Johnny Unitas. Since those playoffs, however, he hasn’t been elite at all.
Flacco has won 29 games and lost 29 since 2012. He is, literally, average at this point, and with him making $22.1 million (5th most among active QB’s), patience is wearing thin in Baltimore on if he will be elite. Making this kind of money has made him a salary cap liability, but we’ve seen teams dump quality players because they cost too much money. Problem is that Flacco plays QB, a position that seems very hard to fill and that can turn underwhelming teams into contenders overnight. His contract appears to be a symptom of his circumstance and not his caliber.
Terrell Suggs and Marshal Yanda are the last two players remaining from that 2012 team and the pressure is finally on Flacco to get it done.
Maybe it’s asking too much for Joe to throw a fist pump every now and then or get in his receiver’s face, but showing your team you want to win, through your play, is always a great motivator. As a 10-year vet, at this point, he still doesn’t check all his receiving options, checks down way too much, and still struggles with the 2-minute drill as Ravens fans stand yelling at the screen to get him going. At the end of the day, in the huddle of those 11 guys, all eyes are staring at one guy and one guy only, Joe Flacco. With so much uncertainty for the Ravens coaching staff and front office after this season, Joe Flacco has two options: Be Good or Be Elite.