Flacco, Kubiak Don’t Have to be Best Friends

Kubiak Flacco 728
Photo Credit: Baltimore Ravens

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.

trips-santa-300x250 (2)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.

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 EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) 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

30 Raves on “Flacco, Kubiak Don’t Have to be Best Friends

  1. FormerPanther on said:

    Tyler Palko’s Daddy was a high ranking member of the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) and head coach at West Allegheny High one of the largest Pittsburgh Area high school powerhouses. That is the bread basket of Pitt’s recruiting territory and Bob sent A LOT of recruits to Pitt including his own son. The reasons Dave Wannstedt played Tyler over Joe were political more than ability, and Flacco knew he would never get a fair shot with Tyler there. There is a back story there and it bothers me when people intimate that Flacco could not compete with Palko – sulked and split. He made the right call to bolt and start at Delaware & earned himself a first round draft status. Honestly, it would have been awesome to see Flacco start at Pitt with LeSean McCoy in the backfield. Damn – Pitt fans will never know what might have been. Then again – from a Ravens fan’s may never have dropped to #18 and helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl. In this instance – everything worked out just fine. In terms of return on draft investment (RODI) – Joe Flacco has returned spectacular results from #18. Palko meanwhile – went undrafted and is out of the league after some really dismal performances in a back-up role.

  2. Mark on said:

    Not sure whether the rumors are true but I was curious to how Flacco would respond to “hard coaching” from Kubiak. who insists that his QBs (and all offensive players) do things exactly in the detailed way he wants. In addition to a new emphasis on precise footwork, pocket mobility and quick accurate reads, Kubiak insists his QBs throw the ball away rather than force it into tight spaces. There is no reason to think Flacco will not respond to this style of coaching but it is certainly new for him.
    To get a sense of how Kubiak runs his offensive team rooms, check out Nate Jackson’s great book,
    “Slow Getting Up”. There are 6 or 7 pages on how Kubiak coached the offense in Denver as OC. To say he demanded attention to detail by every offensive player would be an understatement.

    • gregg on said:

      Good info- I agree. I sense that Kubiak is a no-nonsense coach-meaning follow my plan and do not improv. We shall see the results soon.

  3. Boldin Raver on said:

    How ’bout a little more context when talking about these (scare quote)sources(scare quote). Did you talk to these “sources.” Are they people on the team? Are they with the organization? Are they people you heard on the radio? Did they agree to discuss this stuff only with an agreement of confidentiality?

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Sometimes a source will allow you to quote them. Sometimes you can use the information but can’t quote them. Other times you can’t use the information for anything other than shaping thoughts. For this one I went with Door No. 2.

      • John P on said:

        I get the “Door #2″ thing, and I get that you’re trying to break a story. Either that, or I’m living under a rock because this is the first I’ve heard of it.

        But my question is – is this a real story, or are you essentially manufacturing news on a slow day?

        If they don’t get along, they probably didn’t get along last week or the week before. Additionally, married couples fight all the time. It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. It’s just how they communicate (even if it is poor communication).

        How do you know it’s deeper than that?

  4. JWS on said:

    TL,Flacco has an ego much,much greater than his ability. He feels he does not need or want any coaching yet he does not put enough film study and effortinto becoming a top 5 QB that he thinks he is and is NOT!! Until he matures and knows coaches know more them him andis willing tolisten he will not get to where he and teh Ravens want asa consitent accuarate top QB! His early success because of atop defense and some lucky breaks with other teams failures has led to his feeling with his current ego appraoch and none ability tolisten and leran by people much smarter than him!

    • Big Herb on said:

      JWS, it must be nice to have all that inside info about Joe’s habits. I’m sure that Harbs, Ozzie and Kubiak will learn so much from your vast knowledge of Joe and football in general. Maybe you can get Joe to listen to someone smarter than his self, MAYBE YOU?

    • orphan45 on said:

      Where do you come up with your info about what Joe does or doesn’t do away from the field?!?!? Who says Joe doesn’t do film study or accept coaching enough to be a top 5 QB?!?! Did you just bend over in front of a mirror and pull that out of your rectum?

  5. JerryB on said:

    Sounds like much ado about nothing. Both have been successful in the league, both command respect as a result, although Flacco rarely gets it and both are dedicated to winning. Sounds like a recipe for success……

  6. Kathy on said:

    This article comes off as an attack on Flacco. We seriously need to give the guy a break. He has had nothing but change since he joined the Ravens – QB coaches come and gone, OC come and gone – not to mention that he has had no consistency with veteran WR’s. I won’t question Joe’s attitude or demeanor as he has done nothing but win for us

    • Mill on said:

      Excuses! Excuses! Flacco is being paid many millions of dollars to be a good player despite what is happening around him. Last year, he was not a good player. I dont care what excuse you make for him. The offense had a lot of problems and Flacco was one of them.

      Flacco’s ego is far bigger than his production called for. He doesnt works as hard as a top 5 QB, he doesnt produce as much but he feels he deserves to be treated like one. Bending over backwards for Flacco was the worst mistake the Ravens have made. They really need to start considering other long term options, especially if he doesnt improve his play.

      • Kathy on said:

        Guess we need to agree to disagree. Joe was on his back most of last season because he had no O-Line to protect him. Do you know Joe firsthand? I ask that because how could you possibly know how hard he works? I don’t think the Ravens bent over for Joe – He took us to the playoffs his first five years with the team and won a Super Bowl.
        What else would you like him to do – Walk on water?

        • Thomas on said:

          Flacco was on his back in large part due to his inability to read defenses and get rid of the ball quickly when needed. Some of the real elite QBs have gotten by with even worse O-lines than Flacco had last year.

  7. Chris on said:

    I love how raven fans( on the board) still hate on Flacco, we would have won 4 games at max without him last year… He single handedly put us through the playoffs and SB and still hate….We had some of the worst OC’s in the nfl over Flacco’s career and all he does is win and pull games out of his AAAA…..

    Sorry guys, the Defense does NOT run Charm city any more, Flacco’s arm does

  8. Mike Z on said:

    I really don’t see this as an attack on Joe at all. I see this as TL reporting on something (if I read between the lines right) that was told to him in “a non quotable” manner. What that means, who knows. I am not TL, and I do not have his sources. But neither do most of us here.

    So who really knows how much time Joe spends in the film room except those that are there when he does or doesn’t do it. To me Joe does what I do. He shows up to work on workday. He suits up and goes to work. Only he has to look at the man in the mirror and live with what he does and doesn’t do before and after gameday.

    Me, being the “glass half full” kind of guy, I truly believe (opinion here) that Joe’s problem last season was the complete opposite of:

    “Those “sources” have hinted that following his Super Bowl MVP a sense of entitlement has hovered about the Ravens $120M Man.”

    I believe he felt he had to be superman BECAUSE of the money and expectations. He knew how fickle fans are and would turn on you in a second (see Eddie Murray’s last season in BMore) He also knew that the national media just waits for any Baltimore Sports team to fail. Joe has had a target on his back nationally way before he had the audacity to have the confidence and say he goes out on Sunday believing he is an “elite” QB. He didn’t say he WAS elite, he said that was the attitude he carried with him.

    Last time I checked a winning attitude wins and a losing attitude loses. What attitude do you want from your QB: “I go out on Sunday knowing my stats suck and just do my best”? Really.

    Joe is our QB. Now and in the long term future. We don’t play the games, we watch them. If you don’t like your QB turn the channel or better yet move to Indy or Boston and sacrifice a goat at the alters of the National media anointed golden boys.

    I for one will stay in Baltimore and bleed orange, black and oh hell yeah……PURPLE

  9. kenny on said:

    its just sad that Tony has to beg HoustonRaven to get his back, the guy has been defending him non stop for 2 days now. i understand you are some sort of friends or whatever but there is no need for that.
    HR has no credibility on the site…sad

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