Those infamous “sources” in and around the Baltimore Ravens are stirring it up a bit regarding the allegedly frosty relationship between quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak.
Even if they aren’t drinking buddies – BIG DEAL!
Some of the best collaborators have at times been adversarial. Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richards, Simon & Garfunkel, Martin & Lewis, Sting & Copeland, Unitas & Shula, Montana & Walsh, Shaq & Kobe…the list goes on.
In many cases the adversarial nature of the aforementioned relationships and many more have their roots in competitiveness, ambition, determination, skill and of course ego. All of this fuels the desire to be successful, to demand the most from each other and to collaboratively reach levels of success that individually they might not ever approach.
So if Flacco and Kubiak knock heads or scream at each other, consider it a good thing. It means they both care and they both want the invested sweat equity to translate into dividends on Sundays in the fall.
Those “sources” have hinted that following his Super Bowl MVP a sense of entitlement has hovered about the Ravens $120M Man.
That too isn’t such a bad thing. You want your quarterback to have a level of swagger and cockiness and bravado. You want him to expect to succeed and you want the rewards for that success to continue to provide incentive for even more success.
Let’s face it, complacency is kryptonite for champions.
But back to this sense of entitlement, if that isn’t kept in check it represents dangerous territory for the Ravens, particularly given the level of investment in Flacco.
When the Ravens decided to part ways with former QB Coach Jim Zorn, Flacco protested to Steve Bisciotti. When Cam Cameron sat at the offensive controls Flacco openly deadpanned about his lack of input and that he just ran the plays that were called.
Last season when the Ravens tried to jump-start the offense by using Tyrod Taylor, Flacco publicly dismissed the approach as high school-ish. To say he was an unenthusiastic participant when Taylor’s number was called would be an understatement of monumental proportions.
Flacco’s personality is a bit quirky. He can come off as aloof, even somewhat spoiled. This is a guy who left Pitt when he no longer wanted to compete with the great Tyler Palko and took off for Division I-AA school Delaware.
Looking back the move worked for Flacco.
And so could embracing the teachings of the 3-time Super Bowl Champion Gary Kubiak.
Kubiak played the position; played behind John Elway and then coached Elway. He coached Steve Young in San Francisco and has been associated with some of the league’s most prolific offenses. He has even coached up a marginal talent in the form of QB Matt Schaub and helped him earn two trips to Honolulu as a Pro Bowl participant.
Flacco is far more talented than Schaub.
If he collaborates with Kubiak in a similar manner there’s no telling what Flacco or the Ravens offense might achieve.
They just need to Come Together.