When the Ravens gathered to address the media at OTAs, one thing that people kept asking about was, of course, the quarterback.
The most important position in the game, the difference between a good and great quarterback can be the difference between an early exit in the postseason and the Lombardi. Joe Flacco has been good in the regular season, but he has flashed great in the postseason. Ravens fans have been waiting to see that performance translate to the 16 games before the playoffs, however with the tumult of the offense last year, that hasn’t materialized.
Many suspect that the addition of Gary Kubiak could be the lynchpin to finally push Flacco to great, permanently. And if the quotes from personnel are any indication, Joe Flacco has been plenty busy making sure he covers all the bases to do his part.
“I think he worked his tail off,” Kubiak said. “It was obvious when he came in how hard he had worked at what he was doing. He’s way ahead of the guys from that standpoint … there are a few guys within the system that know our system that are helping other guys along, but the important thing is that [Flacco] be ahead of everybody, and he’s done that.”
Flacco — not often viewed as outspoken — has not been shy when it comes to Kubiak’s new offense. However, just because he has something to say, doesn’t mean it has affected his signature deadpan persona.
“Joe is the same old Joe,” said go-to wide receiver, Torrey Smith. “We have a brand new offense, and the way he goes about it you can’t tell if he’s excited about it or if he hates it. (laughter) That’s Joe. But like coach [Kubiak] said, he understands it, he’s helping put us in the right place. When you ask him questions, he always knows the answer, and that’s a credit to him working hard to get it done.”
Flacco’s role in the offense is filled with quick footsteps and thinking, and as a result, the demand from the quarterback is a bit different. Flacco clearly wanted the adjustment to be a smooth one, and he wasn’t going to leave anything to chance with the scheme. Kubiak was insistent that the learning process is ongoing, and Flacco’s mastery will not be complete until there truly isn’t a weakness.
“I’m making sure we’re going out working on the things he doesn’t feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve got that,’ yet,” Kubiak said.
Flacco’s athleticism has already impressed the former Texans head coach, and that will come in handy on bootlegs and three-step drops. So once Flacco masters the ins-and-outs of the offense, conceivably, the sky’s the limit. After all, Flacco’s right arm is a howitzer with or without the zone offense guru.
“I knew it was good, but I had no idea just how good it was,” the new offense quarterback said of Flacco’s arm. And there is no reason not to expect excitement between the two of them, despite their mild manners.