Monday, December 01, 2008

Joe Flacco, a star in the making

Developing quarterbacks in the NFL is a process. Rarely does a rookie quarterback get it right away. Sure, when you look back in time, you will find a few exceptions, the most notable in my opinion being Dan Marino.

The development process usually isn’t visible. It is more like a shaping, a grooming, a maturation process that over time becomes apparent when you see the quarterback today and look back at where he once was and how far he’s come. Drew Brees is a perfect example.

But rarely do you see the process shape before the naked eye. With Joe Flacco, we are witnessing exactly that!

Each week, Flacco does something that clearly suggests that he’s learned from a mistake. He corrects it and then reveals something new about himself that belies his age and experience.

Yesterday while watching the game against the Bengals there were two plays that stood out most in my mind while taking in No. 5’s performance. The first play probably flew under the radar screen of most observers. Facing a third and 8 from his own 45 yard line with 3:47 to go in the first quarter and the Ravens holding a 3-0 lead, Flacco was flushed out of the pocket to his right. He studied the field in front of him trying to find a window of opportunity to move the chains. Not until he exhausted every downfield option and determined that none would work did he tuck the ball and run down the sideline.

You could tell that Flacco knew that he could make a play with his legs but waited to see if he could milk something more meaningful out of the play before opting for that ace in the hole. Eleven yards later, Flacco’s run gave the Ravens a first down at the Bengals’ 44.

Fast forward to the 6:04 mark of the third quarter for the second play…

The Ravens held a seemingly insurmountable lead of 20-3. Flacco dropped back to throw on second and 7 from his own 30 yard line. Despite a clean blitz off the edge and knowing that he would take a hit, the Ravens’ “rookie QB” hung in there and delivered a strike down field where Mark Clayton made an acrobatic one handed catch and took it to the house for a 70 yard score.

“Five” is building each week before our very eyes. The positive strides aren’t part of an osmosis process, they are right there for all of us to see, observe and appreciate after years of incompetency at the quarterback position.

And the scary thing is for Ravens’ opponents, he has a long way to go.

Even scarier, with his work ethic, humble demeanor and dedication to his craft he’s going to get better and better.

The rest of the NFL is officially on notice.


Ravcolt said...

Flacco is a marvel unfolding before our eyes. But the past three weeks he has been taking a beating, and our O-line needs to be up to the task of protecting him better. Mixing in dump-offs, quick slants, pitch outs and a no-huddle will help, but we still have way too many third and longs, false starts and delay of games to save him from Blitzburgh. We have one game to right the ship. This opportunity falls on Cameron's shoulders.

Harryos29 said...

harry os 29 Dec 1st
JOE FLACCO! Need I say more? He has done more in 12 games than Kyle DID in Five years. I love the way Cam is bringing Joe along. Looks to me, that Cam has "OPENED" up the Playbook. I agree with RAVCOLT that the O-Line needs to do better. Personally, I think that they are doing as well as they can, due to the fact that MATKOS is coaching up a different players to mesh on the line on a weekly basis. Wait til next year with YANDA comes back and TERRY i s %100 !!

Anonymous said...

The thing that amazes me is how well Joe Flacco has been doing with basically ONE WR and no TEs for most of the season. I give Cameron credit for bringing Flacco along, but by the same token, Cameron has also made some very questionable calls IMO. I hope the Ravens are peaking at the right time. Winning 3 out of the next 4 games ('Skins, Steelers, & jags) is definitely do-able. At the very least, the Ravens have made this season enjoyable and competitive.