Scouting Report: Joe Flacco
This is not an argument about Joe’s status as an “elite”quarterback. There is no argument to be had. Joe is a great quarterback and gives the Ravens a chance to win every game. The truth is I could care less what you call him. Joe Flacco is a great quarterback who has unlimited potential. He improves every season.
Joe Flacco is a tall lean quarterback with a rocket on his shoulder. I sincerely believe he has the strongest arm in football. Flacco is an intelligent quarterback. He knows what he is doing and does not worry about the result. When Flacco is at his best he plays the game with a quick rhythm. When the Ravens got rid of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron they told Joe to let it fly. Since than nobody has thrown the deep ball with more success than Flacco.
Flacco might throw the best intermediate pass in the NFL. Especially the intermediate out route ( Which is a better indicator of arm strength than the deep fade). Flacco has the ability to put extra zip to fit it into tight windows. If Flacco has one major fault it is his fearlessness. Many of his interceptions are the result of a forced throw; throws that he can often get away with.
Joe’s touch over the middle is outstanding. This was on display both on Anquan Boldin touchdowns in the AFC Championship game and Super Bowl. With Boldin in the slot Flacco realized the defense was in cover 1. He let Boldin position himself behind the lone safety in the middle of the end zone. In both instances Joe threw the ball where only Boldin could reach it. The results of perfect reads and throws are Joe Flacco touchdowns.
Flacco has his fair share of critics. Most of them complain about his leadership and personality. This is utter nonsense. Flacco is a great leader. He never gets to high or low, and is always poised. He maybe quiet but that does not mean he does not care. His steady improvements over his career tell you he is a hard worker.
Flacco’s arm strength allows him to Get away with throwing the ball on his back foot. This being said he is inconsistent under pressure. His accuracy is at times poor under contact. Typically with his inaccurate passes the ball sails over the receivers heads. Fumbles and sacks are major problems on Joe’s worst days. What makes him great though is his short memory. He can have a horrible game and still pull it out in the end. Few quarterbacks have this ability. When Flacco struggles he is like a basketball player – if he keeps shooting it can start working at any-moment.
Flacco has 5 years experience and a Super Bowl ring. He has taken the Ravens to the postseason5 years in a row, winning at least one playoff game.
The Ravens quarterback has achieved most of this with a controlling and constricting offensive coordinator & little help. Cameron and Flacco never meshed. Cameron stunted Joe’s development. Much like with Cameron’s previous QB’s Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees, Flacco improved dramatically when he left.
Anquan Boldin was the best receiver Flacco ever had to work with. That being said in the 2012 regular season Boldin was less than great. He struggled to beat man coverage and only had four regular season touchdowns. Before the days of Boldin, Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta, Flacco did not have weapons to lean on. Yes he had Rice in the backfield but his best targets were the shells of what Derrick Mason and Todd Heap once were.
Flacco and Matt Ryan will forever be compared. Matt Ryan has had little success in the playoffs but has put up big stats in regular season play. People fail to realize Ryan has had Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzales. With that talent Rex Grossman could be successful. If Flacco had that kind of talent around him the Ravens trophy room would be filled even more.
I am done arguing about the class Joe Flacco is in. Call it great, elite or whatever you please. You cannot have the success he has had without having “it”. Joe Flacco is great. It is time for the sports world to accept this.