Arrival time for Joe Flacco

Despite Joe Flacco putting up nearly identical statistics to in 2011 as he did the last two seasons (Joe threw for 3,613  3,622 & 3,610 yds the last 3 years), Flacco is a very different quarterback right now. Different in style of play and different in his communication skills.

The first three years with Joe, if we heard an emotional sound bite I can’t recall it. The aw shucks kid just went about his job happy to be here. But signs of change arrived during the off season.

Flacco openly criticized his play caller Cam Cameron for being too conservative in the 4th quarter.  And he expressed serious frustration over the firing of his quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn.

During the season we’ve seen Joe, it not lash out something like it, at media and fans for criticizing his play or the Ravens to throw the ball excessively in losses.  At the core of this anger was the view Flacco has of himself vs. the view from most others.

He sees himself as a very good quarterback, capable of doing all the things we see from Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.  “You guys do realize, they don’t run the ball?”   He offers incredulity at skepticism about his abilities.

In Baltimore the reigning sentiment is Joe can be very good, but still sits on the outside looking in at stardom.  And nationally, Joe has more detractors than  ESPN’s Skip Bayless (the most prominent of which is Skip Bayless.) 

All of which may be reconciled during this playoff run.  Play mistake free football, make big throws in the 4th quarter, and reach the Super Bowl then the love will flow from all around.  Fall short against the likes of T.J. Yates and the mountainous climb to the top changes from Appalachian to Andian. 

It really does all set up beautifully for Joe and the Ravens this year.  No Peyton Manning to get in the way, a home game against a team they already beat by 15 points in Baltimore, and a collective level of health unprecedented for them in mid-January. 

If not now, then when?

 

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