Dear Joe, Shut Up And Play!

Flacco podium

Dear Joe,

You should just shut up and play!

Your team, your offense hovers near the bottom of the league in most offensive statistical categories and your personal stats you must admit are rather embarrassing. You are supposed to be the straw that stirs the drink – the man carrying the team as you did during the 2012 playoffs. Instead, you are leaning on the defense yet again.

Yes I get that the offensive line has been a sieve, but you Joe are not without fault. You and your fat wallet have to shoulder a good chunk of the responsibility here. You wanted the paycheck and demanded it and with that shiny $120.6M number comes responsibility and pressure.

The dividends on that contract haven’t even reached the level of a passbook savings account so far Joe. So it stands to reason that the team needs an offensive shot in the arm – something, anything to give Jim Caldwell’s unit that you lead, some kind of lift off. Enter the wildcat.

Now I will agree that going from 0 to 60 with this wildcat formation wasn’t exactly the way to go about it. Every time that Tyrod entered the game against the Jets, he touched the ball. Where’s the deception in that?

But the new wrinkle was worthy of a try and regardless of what you think there’s no harm in Tyrod being involved in some way. If you don’t like it and don’t want it as part of the offense you’ve been paid handsomely to direct, then step up your game.


  • Maybe you should be a little more accurate.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t predetermine where you are going with the football.
  • Maybe you should sell the play action and the screen passes a little better.
  • Maybe you could improve on those hot reads in the face of pressure.
  • Maybe you could change your cadence up every now and then because I can promise you Troy Polamalu is paying attention.

There’s plenty of blame to go around Joe and I get that it’s not all your fault. I’d even go so far to say that the majority of the offensive issues don’t fall on you. But your mouth isn’t helping things.


  • “Yeah, I don’t like [the wildcat]. I think it makes you look like a high school offense. That’s just my opinion.”
  • “I’m not doing a single thing. I’m not getting it. I’m not blocking. I’m not doing anything.”

Pout much?

Clearly you are entitled to your opinions and clearly as a leader on your team you should make those opinions known to the coaching staff. But these comments delivered publicly in the manner in which they were presented come off as selfish and hardly team-oriented, particularly after a win!

I wonder if you’d be so whiny if the ink on that contract was still wet.

Don’t be RGIII and don’t be Ben Roethlisberger. Be Joe Flacco.

When asked if you thought the team would run the formation after you expressed your feelings to the coaching staff you said, “I don’t think so.”

Why put that out there? Now if the Ravens no longer run the wildcat you come off looking like a spoiled brat (particularly if you don’t deliver on Thursday Night) and you’ve essentially boxed in your head coach and your coordinator and undermine their authority.

You think Tom Brady would have handled things like this? Peyton Manning? Brees? Rodgers?

Of course they probably don’t have to worry about wildcat offenses because their offenses don’t need the shot in the arm that yours does.

But you get where I’m coming from, right? Maybe?

The point is you could have handled this much more professionally and now all you’ve done is put the spotlight more on you. Fail on Thursday night and more than the wildcat will hit the fan.

You once said you were “elite” and you backed it up in 2012.

Now you’ve gone and opened up your mouth again.

Here’s to you backing it up again!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This entry was posted in Blog View, Featured, Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

43 Raves on “Dear Joe, Shut Up And Play!

  1. John on said:

    So Flacco gets criticized for not showing emotions and needs to be a more vocal leader, and when he does, he`s told to shut up. Just way too much hypocrisy with fans and the media, especially the local media. Why don`t some of you who love to criticize for the sake of doing so, take your own recommendations and shut up.

    • Sauce on said:

      Amen, Tony.

      Joe needs to make more accurate throws, avoid turnovers and improve his pocket presence. He also needs to work on his pre-snap reads that seem to have vanished the last few weeks.

      He can have an opinion, but when you’re offense is holding your team back, he needs to do “whatever it takes” including taking his hands out of his pockets on wildcat plays.

      He will be the difference in a tough Pittsburgh game, I just hope he steps up for the Ravens season sake.

    • Eric on said:

      Agree with this comment. Too many members of the media are critical of Joe saying he is bland unemotional and vanilla. He finally speaks out and now he should shut up? Can’t have it both ways.

    • DeeJay Legacy on said:

      You apparently don’t understand the concept. Its not that he’s finally speaking out and showing some emotion, its that the first time he does he’s acting like a whiny little spoiled brat. He’s not stating that he is ready to STEP it up, or Do whatever it takes, or anything motivational. It’s him whining and complaining and shooting down the wild cat while stating that he doesn’t involve himself in the play and that we shouldn’t add anything into the offense because its not what he wants. That isnt a LEADER, it isnt him backing his tame, it isnt him speaking out and being emotional in a positive way, it’s him acting little a little girl.

      He does NOT deserve that money! We BACKED into the playoffs last year losing what? 4 out of our last 5 or 3 out of 4? Our WR’s made AMAZING plays and some of us getting through was some luck. Flacco has been making terrible reads, staring down receivers and throwing the ball directly to the other team or into double and triple coverage. NOW he wants to speak up in a negative way about the team trying to find a spark all because the ball isnt in his hands.

      So you want the LEADER of the team ONLY speaking up when he wants to cry about something?

      All of these Flacco DEFENDERS make me sick! His attitude is NOT what’s best for the team and real FANS should want what’s BEST & want a real LEADER & captain motivating and sparking our offense. NOT acting like this, it’s sad and its pathetic.

  2. HellsBellsVA on said:

    Joe was asked a question and he answered it truthfully. Joe doesn’t like the wildcat. Joe has been out there EVERY play and tried to do the best he could with a bad situation. The fact that you have the cojones to imply that just because he is making the money he is, Joe shouldn’t complain.
    Face the facts Lombardi, those that can, do. Those that cannot, blog

      • Ryan on said:

        This blog sure took a lot of creativity. Lol. Is there not enough to talk about then to make something out of nothing? Social media aside, if we are hearing statements made by athletes it’s almost always in response to a question. It’s not whining no matter how bad you butcher the story. He’s simply answering a question in which he’s expected to answer honestly. Unless of course you prefer typical BS coach speak. I’m not debating Joe could do more but that’s not the story here. I guess it’s the world we live in where everyone from main stream media to local bloggers feel the need to fabricate BS stories to entertain the masses.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          There’s a reason for coach speak. Indirectly it says in many instances that the coach would prefer to deal with the topic directly with the team and not through the media. Joe’s immaturity came through loud and clear when he decided to handle the wildcat through the media. I’m not saying his message is wrong. The conduit he chose to deliver it was…

          • Ryan on said:

            “the conduit he chose….”
            It’s not like he jumped on his twitter acct. & spouted off. He was asked a question from a guy w/ a microphone. A question that I can only assume was intended to receive a response similar to what he got. Have a Happy Thansgiving.

  3. Craig on said:

    I also feel if Joe is out wide and nobody on the defense is covering him, what good does it do to send him wide. It seems to me its just making it 11 against 10.

  4. Ejsdad on said:

    This is some good stuff here. It seems that the org has just been paying joe from years past. And I always felt like joe was not worth a buck 20, we have yet to see 30 tds, 4000 years, read the D, an mostly the stuff u touched on the article, so thanks for touching on sumthing joe really lacks, hopefully other people can see this, an settle down with the high holes, Thursday will tell all

  5. Ray on said:

    Sorry Tony but your way off base on this. You know there are more issues to this offense this year than what you have here. I have to believe that this is motivated by another recent article you wrote about using Taylor more and you are looking for validation on that point. Statistically yes Joe’s numbers are clearly down but this has nothing to do with his contract. When his numbers go up most of the media and you will say the Oline is playing better and the run game actually exist and this helps the entire offense. It’s BS that just because the QB is paid the most they deserve all the credit or blame like many media and fans like to shout. The media and fans are never happy – if your QB is not loud and forceful y’all complain – if he is outspoken y’all say it’s not the right way to say it. I had the pleasure a long time ago to sit next to the greatest Colt ever at a Baltimore Colts game (Johnny U) and he made a profound statement that day that I will never forget ” statistics are for losers there is only one that matters did you win the game ” Joe Flacco as part of the Baltimore Ravens have won a lot of games together.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      It’s hardly BS Ray. When you pay the man they way they did you are essentially saying that he has to consistently be a difference maker because there are fewer dollars to go around to build up his supporting cast. That places more pressure on Joe and more on the scouts who draft collegiate talent.

      Pretty sure I said in the piece that the majority of issues aren’t on Joe. Airing this stuff publicly has no upside. NONE!

      • 410love on said:

        Tony, its so refreshing to see a blogger who is not wearing rose tinted glasses. When you comment on “almighty Joe flacco”, the reigns come down on you. On any other ravens website, they sugar coat and stroke the ego of our qb. I applaud you for calling it how you see it. How is it that Aaron rodgers can be the most sacked qb in recent stats, and still be the best? Whats the excuse for flacco?he has so much to say, so why cant he audible at the goal line when its 8 in the box against 6 blockers to take a one on one matchup outside that we can win? he’s not the best decision maker, but he’s paid like one. Let me say that I do believe in him, but he is not absolved of responsibility to be a student of his position. Its a team game, and I think that the whole team could do more to be better, coaches included.

      • Ray on said:

        Tony there is no QB or any other position for that matter over the course of their career hasn’t seen some inconsistency in their performance. It should never equate to the contract. The player and agents job is to negotiate the best possible deal they can ( all players do that ) and the owners either agree and pay or they let that player go. Every contract is paid based on past performance and the hope that the same or better will continue. Know one can say for certain that’s what will happen. While we need Joe to play better it will take way more than just him to make this years team play better. And the wildcat is not that answer I couldn’t agree more with Joe and his opinion. It’s only been used by those teams who truly lack play makers at all positions and we have them. Each of those play makers need to do their jobs as well. I also believe you and your staff do the best job of covering Bmore sports and I enjoy reading the sites insights. I just can’t agree with you on this one.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          Quite alright Ray. It would be boring if we all agreed all the time!

          Thanks for your kind words and here’s to a great Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      • Jay on said:

        Love the comments and you are dead on. Joe asked for the big MONEY and the man was paid. He has entered a new category of pay-to-perform. Along with that also comes the common sense, that he will be a leader. During games and with the media. During games and after the countless 3 and out series, Joe sits on the bench by himself looking at the ground. He simply is not a leader. No way to sugar coat it at this point. On the field, he is under duress a great deal of time, but he makes too many mistakes. He could have 20 interceptions easily with some of the decisions he has made. This would be more acceptable of a journeyman QB in his 6th year, making a couple million a year. Not a guy that is accounting for a large dollar amount against the cap. Joe won a Superbowl and the Ravens needed the offense to get it done in 2012. He will always be a part of Baltimore pride and history, but he simply is not playing at a very high level, not making great decisions and now he is confirming what many have been saying for a few years. He is an above average QB with weak leadership skills. That is all. The problem is that we are paying him WAAYYY too much money…..

        • Jay on said:

          Make your next blog on the countless errors the coaching staff and front office have made this year. I have been a season ticket holder since 1996 and watched every game. I also have coached football for a number of years and I do understand the game well. Why in the world did we let Bolden go? Was this a private deal between Jim and John? He was not that expensive and he made Joe look much better in 2012. Really.. Can anyone explain that move?? How about the brilliant decision by John to take the ball in overtime against the Bears. I knew we lost when we confirmed to receive. Did he just wake up that moment? Did he really believe that we would go score a TD on the first drive? The odds were horrible, based on the weather and the stats from the game.. It was a horrible decision that helped cost us the game. John is struggling this year. His on side kicks, his decision right before half time with 40 seconds left and we are 50 yards out of FG range. Not sure he really understands his team yet this year. An the granddaddy of bad decisions……..the zone blocking scheme. Really… Let’s take something that is working ok and really mess it up… I love the guy and think he is a good coach, but he is having a really bad year. Front office as well. Lots of bad decisions in the offseason.. Michael Huff, Spears…. Weak draft the last 2-3 years. Paying Joe 120M… Boldin and Carey Williams should have been retained. Understand all the others. Anyway… Try one on John and his mess of a year.

          • Ed in ON on said:

            Tony & Jay-
            I totally agree with the sentiment, and wrote something similar on twitter early last week. If he doesn’t want us to need to rely on gimmicks, then step your game up. And besides, the correct way to take issue is not with the media, especially for a team leader.

            That said, I take issue with the sentiment that we couldn’t sign or retain help for Joe because of his contract. That is total BS. Joe is making the same 7M he was making last year. The money saved from Boldin was used to rebuild the defense, the same defense that has 3 of our 4 biggest contracts for 2013 in Webb, Suggs and Ngata. So while I agree that we had to rebuild the D, the offenses regression has ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with Joe’s contract. His cap hit is 7M- not 15 or 27 or anything that hamstrings our offense. The regression is definitely partially Joe’s fault, but his contract plays no role in his share of the blame for 2013, just his play…

          • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

            His contract in future seasons will definitely have an impact if he doesn’t play to its level. But in that regard, Joe is no different than Suggs, Ngata and Rice all of whom are not performing to the numbers they carry and that could spell trouble for the team if it doesn’t turn around. Suggs had been but over the last 4 games his production is less in total during those games than he averaged in the previous 8 games.

  6. Torry Lewis on said:

    Well Joe, I can honestly say i dont like having a Qb with as many TD’s and Interceptions, I dont like have the fourth higest paid QB with the 30th ranked offense, I dont like QB’s that are ranked in the 20′s for QB rating, I dont like QB’s that dont make the players around them better. Flacco benifited from people being team plyaers all around him, you think Vonte cares that he has to pound his body into people to open holes for Rice, or when Torrey smith blocks twenty yards down feild so JJ can get more yards, or last year when Boldin would get crushed over the middle becuase you floated a ball with your consistant inconsitant accuracy. Flacco is a Raven and playing like a Raven means you do what is necessary to win. And you can get all the snaps you want and stop elemeentary offenses if you keep the chains moving, stop leading the team in turnovers, and score in the redzone. And for all this he won a championchip stuff, so did Dilfer, he is on no mantle. teams win!

  7. PG County Raven on said:

    All we need is an “open mouth and insert foot” discussion. Well there it was by Joe Cool, the designated leader. IMHO, it’s not what he said, but how he said it, quite frankly, less would have been more. We’re not executing the offense to the pro level at all and that’s 80% on the coaches for changing the blocking scheme and linemen learning I would submit. Why throw your coaches and teammates under the bus. You’re quite culpable in this mess too! Telling the media that the wildcat will probably not be ran anymore is TMI for the opponent – though Tomlin and Steelers aren’t stupid enough to believe the comment. Joe, just deliver us the victory tomorrow and in the future let your performance do the talking since talking and being passionate isn’t in your DNA. It should be all about the “Team”, but “Here We Are”!

  8. Ken on said:

    “in my opinion” Guess you can’t have one when it comes to the media…so glad I have tuned out sports talk radio shows and pregame TV shows. Idiots all.

  9. John on said:

    “You think Tom Brady would of handled things like this? Peyton Manning? Brees? Rodgers?” I would like to ask you, How many times have “you” said, Flacco is no Brady, Manning, Brees, or Rodgers, cause I hear it enough from national and local sports writers/bloggers. WHO CARES HOW THEY WOULD HAVE HANDLED IT?

      • Kathy on said:

        Tony – I think that Drew and Peyton would audible out of the wildcat play call. I don’t think the Ravens allow Joe that flexibility. Joe doesn’t like the wildcat and I don’t blame him. He wants to be under center, not a wide-out. I am tired of ppl attacking Joe because he voiced his honest opinion, when asked a question.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          I’m hearing rumblings that the coaching staff is not very pleased about his presser yesterday. Tomorrow should be interesting on many levels.

  10. Jrock on said:

    I like the Tony Lombardi stories. Joe is now our leader but he constantly throws teammates under the bus. He threw Ray Lewis under the bus 2xs about his pre game speeches. He through the running game and the online under the bus plenty of times in his post game interviews. I never hear him take any blame. 120m’s means you are the man. The Oline is bad but I think flacco can throw the ball faster. When he is in the sidelines you rarely see him talking to his receivers or Oline. He never looks over plays. The qbs who get the 100+ contracts put in the work. Reading defenses, making corrections. Flacco doesn’t do that. He played well through the Super Bowl run but the entire team played well. The coaches and owner expected Joe to take the next step this year. His play has to be better. He must make the players around him better. He is scared tyrod will take his Job. It’s the NFL and jobs get taken all the time. And stats are important. If your starting qb is putting up bad numbers it reflects the teams record. He interception totals his td totals. If the Ravens are to succeed it starts and finishes with him. He is held to a higher standard Bc of that contract. Our defense was supposed to be bad this year. Shout out the defense. They keeping us in all the games. Joe has to score tds to put us over the top. Every qb beside scuab and geno has outplayed flacco smh.

  11. Rants N Ravens on said:

    I keep saying (and praying) that it would be a nice surprise if this were all some elaborate shell game to catch a future defense (preferably the Stoolers tomorrow night) off guard when we line Joe up wide and he initially looks all disenchanted again but then races down the field on a post patter for a TD. LMAO!

    A man can dream can’t he?!?

  12. dlamps on said:

    What a quality post. A+, would read again.

    You look like an ignorant douche here. Knee Jerk ravens fans strike again and unfortunately this time it was the head of some terrible ravens website anyway.

  13. Navin on said:

    I think every media forgets about wat Joe said followed by “wildcat – highschool offense” package comments. He said that Ravens still need to improve on basic things which he likes to see instead of using wildcat often. Here is Flacco’s comments:
    “I’m all for us doing things to get better, but we’re not going to be good if we just can’t get good at the basics of what we do 90 percent of the time. We have to get good at those things or we’re not going to be good no matter what. I just want to make sure that we’re focusing on getting good at those things.”

  14. JerryB on said:

    Flacco was used similarly in his rookie year with Troy Smith running the “wildcat” and they were widely criticized for subjecting him to risk of injury! As for his opinion, he’s not only entitled to it, but I happen to agree with him! It’s a “gimmick” that is OK once or twice, but NOT with your franchise QB involved where he could be injured! The guy takes enough of a beating every game. None of the QBs you cite would be put in that position………

  15. skaughtz on said:

    So if Joe comes out tomorrow and says that Juan Castillo needs to go because our offensive line play and running game have been garbage because of him, would you tell him to shut up and play or praise him for stating what at this point is almost universally agreed upon? I think most people think the Wildcat is a stupid gimmick and he came out and said it. Well done, in my opinion.

    Poor article, Tony. I’m usually on board with your criticism but this is an overreaction.

  16. Ashton VSG on said:

    Joe has every right to complain…to the coaches in private. When he is the public, he needs to keep his mouth shut. It is a little thing called leadership. Good post Tony.

  17. Leslie on said:

    Thank you for this, Tony. Just like the caller said on Glen ‘a radio show, Tuesday night, “Gid Forbid” Joe have a bad game on Game might. Your article was spot in.

  18. Marie on said:

    Tony I think you are right on, I do not think Joe Flacco is a leader and never did, he can do the job and he proved it during the playoffs, but he also knew the big money contract was coming up. I think a true leader would be finding a way to get the job done. I don’t think it is all of Flacco’s fault, but he is getting paid a lot of money and not doing what he is paid for. Also I think if you had a Brady, a Manning and the rest of the offensives numbers would be a lot higher. That is just my two cents…

  19. bogeyroy on said:

    Joe said what he did because he gave a truthful answer to the question that was asked. Everyone is getting bent out of shape over something that Joe eas honest about.

    The problem is in today’s world, whether it’s sports, politics, world news, etc., is that for every single reporte,r blogger, writer etc., that there was 30 years ago, there are probably 300 or more today. Everyone has to talk about something, and if it gets talked about, it’s a success. Don’t we all have better things to do and talk about than what Joe thinks about the Wildcat offense ?

  20. Nick on said:

    You asked Joe to be Joe, but in reality that’s what he has always been…..honest and confident. The normal party line would be to lie to the media. I’m not making a point about which option is better, but Joe has almost always taken the honest (even if unpopular) route.

    I know you reference there are other issues, but articles like this make those references seem like they don’t even matter.

    Tom Brady had been messing up a lot more throws and decisions this year than he normally does, especially early on with the bad receiving corp. In a perfect world the QB can play great while another component stinks, but as we’ve seen with Tom, even hall of famers have their game affected. Fortunately for Tom he had a run game, much better pass blocking, a high-percentage style offense and the return of 2 key receivers.

    Joe has a record-worst run game, bottom of the league pass blocking, and with Jacoby back he now has an average receiving corp at best. If Tom Brady’s accuracy and decision making is affected by just one bad component, nobody should be surprised that Joe is negatively affected by 3 bad components.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      I think some of the failures of Joe’s offense and the success of Brady’s offense has to do with the respect of the guy behind center, tendencies of that guy and the things that guy does pre-snap. Brady is so vastly superior cerebrally and that is why he has the ability to make players around him so much better. What would Julian Edelman do for the Ravens?

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