Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Joe Flacco is Letting His True Colors Show

July 23, 2018 - 11:14 am

By Joe Schiller

This time last year was a bit different for Joe Flacco. He was sidelined with a disc issue in his back as the Baltimore Ravens opened up training camp for the 2017 season. The injury kept him off the field until a week before the start of the regular season.

Fast forward one year later, it’s a completely different story. Flacco is fully healthy, participated in OTAs, mandatory minicamp and the first week of training camp. He’s got almost a completely new receiving core and most notably, a former Heisman Trophy-winning rookie quarterback waiting behind him.

Lamar Jackson’s addition to Baltimore has garnered plenty of media attention – locally and nationally, facing Flacco with a make-or-break year with no guaranteed money left on his current contract after the 2018 season.

But the quarterback who’s earned the nickname “Joe Cool” because of his relaxed personality was talkative, snarky and confident at the podium in Owings Mills on Friday afternoon.

“I don’t know. Does it matter what I say? I think you guys will probably link it to Lamar anyway,” said Flacco when asked if his ‘newfound passion’ was linked to a new receiving core of Lamar Jackson. “ … You probably try to pin my personality down to something that, I probably believe, it’s really not it. I think a lot of people might be surprised. I think a lot of players are a little bit surprised when they [actually meet me], because they probably come in here with a little bit of a view of what my personality is, and then when they actually interact with me they say, ‘OK, this is a little bit different than I thought.’ So I’d like to … It’d be interesting to see who that’s coming from a little bit, because I do think if it’s coming from some of the new guys, they just didn’t really have a realistic view of what I’m really like.”

It didn’t stop there.

When asked if the constant questions about Jackson will be annoying, he kept it simple saying, “no, I don’t [believe they will], because I think we’re going to win, and we’re not going to hear about it.”

Flacco understands the pressure he faces this season. The Ravens as a whole are under scrutiny after missing the postseason three of the last four years. Flacco isn’t the only one under the lens but by default, the quarterback is first one praised and criticized. That’s just the nature of the position.

The open confidence has to be intriguing. Like safety Eric Weddle mentioned back in June, it feels like a fire has been lit under Flacco. After not having any real competition under center, Lamar Jackson seems to possess the ambition to not only become the future starter but get on the field as soon as possible.

For a quarterback like Flacco who’s had the comfortability under center for 10 years, it should bring this person out when things change.

Much like the career numbers Alex Smith put up with the Kansas City Chiefs last season before being traded to the Washington Redskins, the Ravens will hope Flacco can replicate similar success en route to a playoff appearence.