Saturday, June 18, 2011

Flacco to play with a "big chip" on his shoulder in 2011

Joe Flacco has been the focal point of many discussions and debates this offseason with topics ranging from his proficiencies in the vertical passing game to his ability (or lack thereof) to deliver in the clutch. Even his leadership skills have been called into question.

Back on May 25 several Ravens players gathered for an informal workout organized by Derrick Mason and for the most part guided by Flacco. It was a signal to his teammates and observers that he is prepared to step up as the offensive maestro – another milestone in the fourth year signal caller’s maturation process. His favorite pitch and catch mate certainly took notice.

“Joe is playing with a big chip on his shoulder now”, said the fourteen year veteran Mason. “I think Joe is tired of hearing from those who say he can’t win the big games or deliver in the playoffs. He won’t admit it and he’s not likely to share that with the media but it’s there and I think that it will provide even more motivation for Joe. And in the end it will be a good thing for him and the Baltimore Ravens.”

Perhaps even more fuel for this propelling and swelling proverbial mass is the team’s apparent unwillingness to discuss a contract extension with Flacco who is entering year four of his five year rookie deal. Both sides claim to want the extension but the front office is taking a wait-and-see approach with Flacco – perhaps they even see what Mason sees.

That chip, that beautiful and growing chip could provide just the right boost of grit and determination to have Flacco slay his demons.

And if Mason and the Ravens are right we all just might live happily ever after.