Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Joe Flacco a "Franchise Quarterback"?

Well to answer that question we have to define what one’s interpretation of the word “franchise” is in the description of “franchise quarterback.”

Some use it as a synonym for elite and if that is your preferred context for the term, then no, Joe Flacco is not elite and I don’t ever see a day when he will be elite which in my opinion, means a top 5 QB in the league.

Elite quarterbacks don’t become elite overnight. They work at perfecting their craft through film study and refining the finer points of quarterbacking. Aaron Rodgers over the weekend informed the ESPN broadcast team during production meetings that to be an elite QB you have to want to be great. And wanting isn’t just saying it. It means putting in the work to become elite.

How quick is their release? Do they possess good ball handling skills? Are they leaders and do they move their team to and from the huddle with precision and purpose? How do they process post snap adjustments by the defense? Do they throw to spots before the receiver arrives? Do they use cadence to create advantages for the offense?

I don’t see Flacco doing many of these things and for me that means he isn’t driven to become great. Placing blame on his coaching is fair but I also think Flacco needs to take some of those things upon himself and from where I sit, I see no evidence that suggests he does. From my vantage point there isn’t much progression from Joe since his rookie season. There’s some but not 60+ starts worth of progress.

Now if your definition of franchise quarterback means a long-term solution at quarterback for a team, then yes Joe Flacco is a franchise quarterback. He can provide years of above average quarterbacking and at times flirt with the label of elite. But consistency is Flacco’s Achilles’ heel and in my opinion consistency in excellence is a pre-requisite for elite.

There is a silver lining in not having an elite quarterback. A team doesn’t have to invest so much of its cap resources in one player and should that player go down as in the case of Peyton Manning who covers up for many of his team’s inadequacies, there isn’t a total collapse. Plus it has been proven that through solid drafting and strategic free agent signings that an above average QB is good enough to win a championship.

As for re-signing Flacco, I do think the Ravens will do that and they’ll pay him commensurately. During our Ravens Rap program in Ocean City earlier this month, Steve Bisciotti when asked what it might take to sign Flacco -- $40-45 million guaranteed, Bisciotti’s replied, “It won’t take that much.”

Stay tuned and keep an eye on what happens with Matt Ryan’s contract situation. That could be an effective gauge for what it will take to extend Flacco.


Jerry B said...

In his rookie year, Flacco did something no other rookie QB has ever done - he took his team to within one game of a Super Bowl! THat takes talent! It's fair to say that he and the system in which he operated that year were....consistent. However, Cameron decided to abandon that formula in Joe's second season, which has produced a Jekyll & Hyde offense and QB that for 2 1/2 years have been consistently....inconsistent! Consequently, Flacco's problems appear to be related more to coaching than to...talent!
Can they win with him? They already have! Is he good enough to take them to the Super Bowl and win it? Absolutely! Is he a franchise QB? In my opinion....definitely! Would he and the offense benfit from better coaching? In my judgment......yes! But, we won't know unless or until that change is forthcoming!

thundrbandit13 said...

Flag on the play.....False information... Ben Roethlisberger took his team to within one game of the Super Bowl. In the interest of full disclosure Roethlisberger did not start all 16 games and was not even supposed to play in a regualr season game for the Steelers in 2004. Roethlisberger did win all 14 regular season games that he started that year. The only reglular season loss coming at the hands of the a game that Tommy Maddox started.

Anonymous said...

Joe needs to step it up, he will never get the team to a SB with his sissy way of playing, sorry but it's the truth Joe.

btownraven said...

While I don't think we can blame Flacco's lack of progression completely on coaching, I found some statistics that indicate a change is needed. In 74 games under Cam Cameron's offense Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers combined for a QB rating of 85.8. In 62 games under Cam Cameron's offense, Joe Flacco has a QB rating of 85.8. Given how much better both Brees and Rivers have been since leaving Cam's offense, it is worth seeing how good Joe could be in another offense.

James said...

Joe Flacco decision making is too slow to be a franchise qb. Also has anyone noticed this year that any time he throws the ball more than 34 times in a game, they will lose?He's maybe a top 15 qb, but that's for now. As he get's in his upper 20's his decision making slow down even more and the interceptions will pile up. The ravens wasted 4 years with this guys. After watching the game on Sunday night, if Ray Rice doesn't have a good game, the ravens have no chance to win. The ravens need to find a way to unload him in the offseason via trade or just cut bait and find a veteran qb like Kyle Orton to bring in as a stop gap for a year or two.