Joe Flacco rips Ravens for using wildcat offense

Joe-Flacco-Top-Five-QuarterbackThe Baltimore Ravens signed Joe Flacco to a six-year, $120 million contract this past offseason. When you give a quarterback that type of money, it typically means you want the ball in his hands as much possible. That was not the case on Sunday, as the Ravens ran 12 plays from the wildcat formation in a win over the New York Jets.

Flacco, who lined up at wide receiver on one play and didn’t even bother running off the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped, said after the game that running the wildcat was “good and fun for a little bit, but that’s it.” On Tuesday, he made it clear that he never wants to see the formation again.

“I don’t care how we use it in the game — successful or not successful, after a big play, not after a big play. I don’t care where it’s used, I’m just not a huge fan of it,” Flacco told reporters, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. “I’m the quarterback. I want to be behind the line of scrimmage, I want to be taking the snaps. That’s really the only thing. I don’t necessarily take it personally either in terms of our offense trying to get better. I just think it makes us look like not an NFL team.”

Flacco added that the coaching staff knows how he feels about the wildcat and that he doesn’t expect the Ravens to use it much going forward.

“I don’t look at it as a slap in the face to me,” he said. “It is what it is. I want as many chances as I can get behind the line of scrimmage. I just don’t like that stuff in general.

“I’m not doing a single thing (when we run the wildcat). I’m not blocking, I’m not doing anything.”

All winners want the ball. You can understand why Flacco would dislike the wildcat, but did he have to go public with his disgust? His comments seem like they would have been better off made behind closed doors, rather than showing up John Harbaugh and the team’s coaches in public.

H/T Rotoworld

Joe Flacco on Ray Lewis’ leadership comments: ‘Ray knows better than that’

Joe Flacco Ray LewisJoe Flacco did not appreciate the comments Ray Lewis made on Monday night about the Baltimore Ravens lacking leadership. During the Monday Night Football pregame show on ESPN, Lewis indicated strong leadership in the locker room could have prevented the party bus incident during which Jacoby Jones was allegedly hit with a bottle by a stripper.

“When you think about the Baltimore Ravens and the transition that they went through, they’re missing leadership right now,” Lewis said. “When you have an incident like that, the first thing a leader is going to do is find some way to dissolve everything that’s going on and actually dissolve it before it comes to that type of head or even gets to that point.”

After winning a Super Bowl MVP back in February and signing a six-year, $120 million contract during the offseason, Flacco feels his team does not have a leadership void.

“It is what it is. Ray knows better than that,” Flacco said Wednesday, per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “Things happen. I think we’re usually a pretty good team with stuff like that. If you look around the league, there are probably a lot of leadership problems then. Like I said, Ray knows better.”

In fact, Flacco implied that the incident wasn’t even all that serious.

“When you get the information of what happened, it is what it is,” he said. “You laugh about it kind of. It’s funny, some of the things that we deal with. I don’t really have too many comments on it because they’d all be taken the wrong way and out of context. It’s not really an issue.”

Jones — or someone else — was reportedly “bleeding everywhere” after the scrum broke out. That sounds a bit more serious than Flacco is making it out to be, but I agree that the fight had nothing to do with leadership in the locker room. We can’t point to a lack of leadership every time a player gets popped for a DUI or fails a drug test. We’re talking about adults.

As for Lewis, Flacco was asked if he thought it was ironic that his former teammate’s comments came a day after he was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor.

“Ray is one of them (the media) for a couple of minutes a week now,” Flacco said. “It is what it is.”

Lewis was overly dramatic as a player, and ESPN expects him to be the same as an analyst. He’s off to a pretty solid start.

Joe Flacco: Johnny Manziel is becoming my favorite player in college football

Johnny ManzielJohnny Manziel is one of the most polarizing figures in sports, but he faces more criticism than praise. The Texas A&M star doesn’t exactly work diligently to keep a low profile, so he opens himself up most of it. However, Manziel can sleep well tonight knowing that he has a big fan in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco told USA Today Sports over the weekend that Manziel is one of his favorite players.

“Being hated is not a bad thing. … I don’t know if I’ll be too popular after (saying) this: I (didn’t) know how I really felt about Johnny Manziel,” Flacco said. “But I feel like now that everybody hates him, he’s quickly becoming my favorite player in college football.”

Flacco was then asked if he intends to break out a celebration on Thursday that is similar to the money symbol Manziel made during a win over Rice. You know what his answer to that was.

“No, I’m not going do anything,” Flacco said. “It will all be up here (taps his temple).  And I’ll keep it all up here. … I’m not going to show anything outwardly.”

Manziel and Flacco are nothing like one another, which makes Flacco’s admiration for the Heisman Trophy winner intriguing. Flacco has been described as boring by his own father, whereas Manziel’s dad has expressed concern that Johnny could have an ugly unraveling. Opposites attract, I suppose.

In reality, Flacco probably feels that same way about Manziel that Aaron Rodgers said he feels. As a Super Bowl MVP, Flacco understands the type of scrutiny that comes along with being a quarterback in the spotlight. Manziel doesn’t handle the situation as well as he could, but Flacco obviously isn’t fazed by it.

Radio host Vic Lombardi vandalizes Joe Flacco poster in Denver

Vic-Lombardi-vandalismEarlier this week, the NFL put up posters and billboards around Sports Authority Field and downtown Denver to promote the regular season opener between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. As you might expect, Broncos fans are not pleased about it.

The Ravens are the team that put an end to the Broncos’ Super Bowl hopes last year with an incredible comeback victory in the playoffs. Eventual Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard bomb to tie the game with 31 seconds remaining in regulation, and Baltimore went on to win in overtime. So local Denver sportscaster Vic Lombardi decided to represent the fans by vandalizing one of the Flacco signs.

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Joe Flacco: Ray Lewis’ speeches didn’t make sense

Ray LewisJoe Flacco loved Ray Lewis as a teammate, but forgive him if he was left baffled by the soon-to-be Hall of Fame linebacker’s speeches at times.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback said in March that sometimes he didn’t even know what Lewis meant in his speeches, but he liked the way the messages were conveyed; just the emotional way Lewis spoke was enough to fire up his teammates.

In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Flacco repeated that thought when recalling how former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron wanted him to give a Lewis-like speech to the offense a few years ago.

“That’s not me,” Flacco says. “I love Ray, and I love how he always spoke from the heart, but if you listened to those speeches, a lot of them didn’t even make sense. He meant everything he was saying, but I didn’t know what he was talking about 90 percent of the time.”

Flacco also acknowledges that he is considered boring, but that doesn’t bother him.

“If you think I’m boring, I don’t see why it’s a negative thing. All I’ve ever wanted was to be respected within the building,” he told ESPN The Magazine’s Kevin Van Valkenburg.

With Lewis retired and longtime defensive star Ed Reed in Houston, Flacco is now the leader on the team. It’s hard to believe, but Flacco is 28 and a five-year veteran. After Cameron was fired as offensive coordinator, Flacco showed that he can make plays and carry the team. Now it’s time to show he can do it again … with or without the speeches.

Ravens owner wants Joe Flacco to be leader with Ray Lewis gone

Joe FlaccoThe Baltimore Ravens have lost several of their leaders to free agency, trade and retirement this offseason. Ray Lewis has been the clear-cut leader of the team for over a decade, and Baltimore’s locker room is sure to be much quieter with guys like him and Ed Reed no longer  around. That’s why Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is looking for Joe Flacco to step up and fill the void.

“You are the leader now, like it or not,” Bisciotti told Flacco on Friday night, via the team’s official website.

While Flacco has never been seen as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, his resume speaks louder than his statistics. He is the only quarterback to ever reach the postseason in his first five seasons and win at least one game every time. He has also played in three AFC championships and won a Super Bowl, all before the age of 29.

“Not many guys do what you did in five years,” Bisciotti said. “Not many did it your way. Not many like the way you do it. But I said at the end-of-the-year press conference after last year’s [AFC championship] defeat, that I think the fans of Baltimore will be rewarded by your low-key presence, and it will stand the test of time. Indeed it did, and we all hope it continues to do that.”

Flacco will have a tough time changing his personality, and the team shouldn’t want him to. His own father basically called him a dud earlier this year, but that’s one of the characteristics that helps him perform well under pressure. A $120 million contract says Flacco should be a leader, but don’t expect him to do it by screaming at his teammates before games. That’s just not his style.

H/T Pro Football Talk

LeSean McCoy ranks Tony Romo and Matt Ryan over Joe Flacco

LeSean McCoyLeSean McCoy may play for the Philadelphia Eagles and dislike the Dallas Cowboys, but that does not mean he’s not a fan of some of their players.

The Eagles running back provided some analysis of NFL Network’s annual Top 100 players, and that’s when he expressed his support for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

NFL Network has revealed players 41-100 on the list so far. McCoy is ranked No. 45. Six quarterbacks are ranked between 41-100 on the list. Romo, Matt Ryan, and Joe Flacco have not yet appeared. Flacco and Ryan are likely in the top 40, but Romo might not have made the list at all.

According to The Dallas Morning News, McCoy would have Romo ranked higher than other quarterbacks.

“I like Romo, actually. I’m a fan of certain players,” McCoy said in his analysis, according to The Dallas Morning News. “I might not like the team, but I’m a fan of certain players. I actually think Romo and Matt make it (over Flacco). But obviously Flacco has to be in there because of the Super Bowl. I would take Matt, and I would take Romo.”

McCoy believes that having the backing of such a stellar Baltimore Ravens defense has helped Flacco significantly.

“As a quarterback, if you don’t feel that pressure of not having a great defense, where if you don’t go out and produce on this drive, the other team may score. Knowing you have that great defense behind you, it’s less pressure so you have to put that into effect,” he said, per the Morning News.

Flacco was certainly paid like a top quarterback in the league, and he played during the postseason like one of the best in the league. But McCoy is still not completely sold on him.

The six quarterbacks ranked in the top 41-100 are: Eli Manning at 43; Cam Newton at 46; Russell Wilson at 51; Ben Roethlisberger at 61; Matthew Stafford at 76; and Colin Kaepernick at 81. In order to evaluate their rankings, I would have to know what the rankings stood for. Are we ranking a player’s performance last season, how good we think they’ll be next season, or how good of a career they have had? Until all that is established, it’s awfully difficult to evaluate the list.