Now that the reset button has more or less been hit on the Ravens offense-thankfully, Gary Kubiak is burning the midnight oil putting his playbook together.
In an interview shortly after he was hired Kubiak said, “The best thing I can do for Joe right now is get to work and get something in Joe’s hands at some point. We’re going to get that here pretty quickly.”
Let’s hope whatever Kubiak puts in Joe’s hands, it’s something that he buys into.
Much is often made of Joe Cool’s laidback demeanor. Some fans criticize him for not showing enough emotion on the sideline and his lack of leadership during games. Others view it as an advantage that allows him to keep his cool under pressure and deliver in big moments.
Whichever side of the argument you’re on, there’s no debating the fact that when Joe is unhappy or disagrees with something, he’s not shy about letting it be known.
In 2011, he wasn’t hesitant to let everyone knows his feelings on the firing of Jim Zorn. Along with labeling it an attack on him, he added, “I’m not happy about it. They know I’m not happy about it. It’s not news to them and I’m going to be unhappy for a long time.”
While he never directly criticized Cam Cameron, to say his frustrations were obvious at times would be a gross understatement. After an overtime loss to Washington in 2012, Flacco said, “There are certain things that come Sunday, we’re not doing the way we should be doing it. I’ve said it the last couple weeks and there’s definitely a little frustration out there.”
The next day, Cameron was handed a pink slip and was looking for a new job.
Then this past year Joe was highly critical of the wildcat. After referring to it as a high school offense he said, “I’m not doing a single thing, I’m not blocking, I’m not running, I’m not doing anything.”
John Harbaugh insisted it was still in the game plan even after Joe’s comments. Word is that at team headquarters coaches were seething after Flacco’s declaration. Yet the Ravens ran it a grand total of zero times the rest of the year, opening the doors for critics who interpreted the disappearance of the wildcat as the team kowtowing to their franchise signal caller.
Perhaps it’s as simple as this – Flacco’s opinion matters, and it should considering the level of investment the Ravens have made in him. He’s earned that right over the last six years. And to continue down that path it is imperative that he and Gary Kubiak communicate well during the Ravens 2014 campaign.
While Kubiak hasn’t built a reputation as disciplinarian throughout his coaching career, he is a guy who is known for demanding respect from his players. He’ll jump on guys during meetings, and he’ll ride them in practice.
But that’s what coaches are paid to do.
Joe needs to understand, that Kubiak’s success, and future opportunities as a head coach depend heavily on getting the Ravens offense clicking in 2014. One of the biggest parts of that is proving that Joe’s struggles last year were nothing more than an aberration. Their successes are directly correlated.
If there are grumblings early in the season of a power struggle, it won’t be good for anyone. A quarterback and offensive coordinator don’t need to be best friends, but they do need mutual respect and trust.
Here’s hoping for the Ravens (and our sanity) that whatever Gary puts in Joe’s hands, it’s the first step in forging that bond.