Should Flacco Be Doing More This Offseason?

Flacco back practice indoor

What is expected of today’s franchise quarterback in the NFL?

In the modern age of paying quarterbacks an arm and a leg coupled with the notion that the league converted to a passing one, the expectations of signal callers are at an all time high.

Lately, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finds himself once again in the crosshairs of a hot topic in Baltimore with fans and at least one member of the media.

The issue at hand that has stirred debate is whether Flacco should be setting up practice sessions with his wide receivers and tight ends prior to offseason activities begin.

Some will say they want Flacco to step up after a dismal 2013 season and get started on building a rapport with those who will find themselves on the other end of his lasers in 2014. Still others are NOT concerned, rationalizing that it’s still early in the offseason and what really matters is what he does on the field in September.

All signs have pointed to Flacco getting together with his receivers — signs validated by tight end Dennis Pitta during his recent press conference at team headquarters.

 “Yeah, we’ve talked about it, and it’s nothing set in stone right now, but I know that’s something Joe wants to get done. He wants to be able to meet with us and kind of get on the same page and go over some of the new things that we’re going to be doing”, Pitta stated.

“So, I’m sure we’ll get that ironed out in the next few weeks.”

It’s even unknown at this point if Flacco and company have even received a completed playbook from new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. If he hasn’t is there really a point to even get anyone together until such playbook becomes available?

The offseason is a time to do the things you don’t get a chance to do during the season.

It’s a time to spend with family, enjoy some R&R and above all get healthy.

Isn’t it prudent to have your franchise quarterback show up healthy when it matters most? After all wasn’t it just two and a half months ago when Flacco aggravated his knee against the Bengals in Week 17.

“Yeah. It just doesn’t bend that well, and when the guy landed on me, he just bent it all up into the top of my chest. It didn’t do any more (damage) to my knee; it just hurt for a while — that’s all,” Flacco told reporters after the game.

“It actually probably loosened it up for a couple series after that once it kind of settled down for a bit, but he basically just bent it up when he was on top of me and kept going?”

While Flacco’s injury didn’t warrant a procedure this offseason it was still cause for concern.

“No, I’m not going to have to get anything done. It was just my MCL and it will heal on its own …”

NFL games aren’t won and lost in March even though the Redskins and their twice-fired former GM might argue otherwise.

Besides, if you feel compelled to point the finger of blame somewhere for the woes of the 2013 season, direct it towards the offensive line.

Hey, think Marshal, Eugene & Co. are planning a get together in Patterson Park to knock around a blocking sled anytime soon?


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About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for His work has been featured on and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

58 Raves on “Should Flacco Be Doing More This Offseason?

  1. bullseye on said:

    Not sure where you’re coming from Brian. Flacco got the playbook several weeks back according to The Sun. Kubiak was quoted in Feb that he was busting his tail to get the playbook to Flacco asap so he could study it and be ready to go for OTAs. And Joe’s had nearly three months to rest his knee, so I can’t imagine that’s a concern. With his $120M deal, he needs to be proactive, get the receivers today, and start instructing them on the new system. That’s the least he should do. He wanted the big buck and he got paid. Now step up and be a leader.

    • robbo on said:

      Why is this even a question I guess u didn’t pay attention to his play last season and before you say oline fact ryan tanhill had a worse line less weapons but yet still managed to do better than joe he needs to be working out with his receivers smh

      • chris on said:

        Your a tool, Joe had the worst line in the league, get the NFL ticket and watch more than one game a week. Miami had Mike wallace open just about every other play, Tannehill just cant throw it deep or read a defense

        Zero running game, NO recievers, yes our receiving core is a joke, and Joe still led us to multiple victories with zero help. Go cheer for the Skins, you sound like a skin fan blaming the QB for the teams flaws.

        Our receivers still are not going to be much better, hopefully our line and running game gets back on track or we will be 8-8 again…. Joe was the lone bright spot on our team last year

      • James on said:

        Flacco might have had the better line but the didn’t perform like that. Add in the fact that Baltimore had no running game, outside of Smith Flacco didn’t have those weapons most of the season and then Flacco got hurt at the end of the season. Should he work with the receivers on his own time? Absolutely, but it’s March and it’s too early to worry about that.

    • Marky Mark on said:

      We have no idea if Gary has finished his playbook or not. The Baltimore Sun, while it is really our best source for information, has lost a lot of credibility over the years and not just in the sports department. You have no clue if the playbook is finished, just like I don’t, and the Baltimore Sun doesn’t. And I highly doubt Kubiak is going to have a presser saying that it is finally ready. My next question to you…Have you ever hurt your MCL, or any part of your knee? Three months is hardly enough time to recover from any knee injury. You use your knee every time you move, creating difficulties and a longer recovery time.

    • James on said:

      That’s funny, because Torrey Smith wrote on Twitter yesterday that they haven’t received the new playbook. So who are going to trust The Sun, probably Mike Preston, or a player on the team. It’s only March, it’s too early to be complaining about getting practices together. The only thing they can learn each other’s tendencies, like where each receiver likes the ball to be.

      This whole thing got brought up because Flacco didn’t answer Harbs phone call when Smith was signed. The guy was on vacation with his family. Come on, Joe seems like a guy that would leave his phone at home just so it wouldn’t bother him while he is on vacation.

  2. Tina on said:

    Joe, is painfully learning that signing a $120 mill contract, comes with a LOT of expectations AND, responsibility. He probably wishes he never signed such a mega deal.

    • spy on said:

      Joe is set for life and has a nice family and really loves the millions he EARNED,,,,,,,,,,,in the NFL you get paid for your recent history and Joe got his money for what he did on the field for the fans of Balto. , remember that super bowl people………….now he is working for the next contract which may not be as large but it will be based on recent history more than potential………..Joe got what the market was for super bowl winning Q-backs , deal with it……………..

  3. Grey on said:

    I agree Joe has to take the reins on the new playbook and get some “quality” time set up with his receivers. I don’t know how this is usually done by other QB’s, but I would think it should be timed pretty close to OTA’s. If you have months lapse in between reps you might as well not do it at all.

  4. Marcus on said:

    Look, I for one think IF he did get the playbook and that’s a big IF, then he should be talking to the receivers about it, but if the Baltimore Sun had an article about him getting it and Mike Preston wrote it, it’s probably not true. Here’s something we all need to ask ourselves as Raven fans, should Flacco be measured by what he does on the field during the season and not by the pretty throws he makes to guys in shorts in March regardless of what the flunky GM thinks?

  5. JWS on said:


  6. Captain Offense on said:

    First, anybody that takes any substance from “at least one member of the media” is doomed to be in Loser-Land. To call him a “member of the media” is to degrade the profession. He has no validity in what he tries to say and only stirs the pot with his “opinion”.

    Second, I am of the school of thought that “one size does not fit all”. I operate from the premise that the Ravens have a professional QB and that he knows that things did not work out well last year. How he decides to correct any errors, how he chooses to do his job and how he decides to work with the others in the Offense is his call. He is the professional and he is a SB Winning QB. To sit and tell him how to do his job is an exercise in “smallness”. I will defer to the opinion of anyone who has been a winning QB in the NFL rather than media or message boards. If Flacco does not take the steps HE FEELS ARE APPROPRIATE to make progress and perform better next year, than I will question him. Here in the off-season, I will not criticize him for whatever he feels is the appropriate course. If I do not have that confidence in his ability as a professional, then he should not be the starting QB of the Baltimore Ravens. If he does not have a better performance next season, then I will question what he did to improve. I will also look to dropped passes, missed blocks, bad calls and bad breaks to judge his performance as well.

    Third, for those who offer their opinion of what an NFL QB should be doing right now, let us know what you do and we can all offer our opinion as to how you should be doing your job.

    • Mike on said:

      Well said! Particularly your discussion of that one useless semi-member of the media! If he were any good at his job, he would be working in the NFL, not ranting and raving on the air about things he really doesn’t understand.

    • Dustin on said:

      I agree with everything u said as far as Joe being a professional and I have faith that the Ravens as a whole team are doing what they need to do to improve from last year. (Side note: a bad season for our Ravens is going 8-8 and barely missing the playoffs by about 1 quarter of horrible play, in Cincy. They win that game, they are in and went into the 4th quarter tied up). However, I disagree that the fans can’t direct a player. Yes he doesn’t direct our job and how we do it, but he also isn’t why we get paid. Flacco is where he is, has the contract he has, and is held to a high lever because the fans pay to watch him perform. (The whole team fits under this). So we as Gans have a right to voice whatever opinion we have. He doesn’t with regards to our performance because he doesn’t have anything to do with us being in our position where we work.

      • Captain Offense on said:

        Actually, he is paid to perform as the Ravens expect; not the fans. If the premise is that if we pay for the entertainment we get to tell him how to perform (to which I respectfully disagree), then if he gets a service or product from where you work he has the same “right”. We as fans can expect him to do his best and provide the best of his ability for our payments, but how he does it and micromanaging is not part of that allocation of our money. If your opinion is that if he does not do it the way you believe to be appropriate, then you can choose to take the money elsewhere, then so be it. IMHO, the man (or company) who signs his paycheck has the authority to tell him what to do.

        Of course, everybody has the right to an opinion (for what that is worth).

  7. Joe on said:

    We heard as recently as end of February that the playbook was NOT done actually. By now, it’s probably done. Are people expecting Joe Flacco to hold a press conference to let people know when he works out with his teammates? Apart from Pitta’s comments about them not getting together yet, and Steve Smith not getting to talk to Flacco on his signing day due to Joe being on vacation, how do we know he’s not getting together with his receivers? Can’t rely on media members, they’re just speculating usually.

    Remember too, it’s not just Joe who needs to be available. Have to work out schedules with 6-7 other guys. I know Marlon Brown was on the west coast as recently as a week or so ago, Torrey Smith has baby stuff going on, Steve Smith wasn’t even in house until last Friday, and he’s in the middle of moving up here.

    Give Joe until April. If he’s not getting together with his guys in April, then criticize the hell out of him.

  8. BmoreB on said:

    Flacco is a quite recent winner of a SB MVP award, let’s not forget that. Last year was not good obviously but there are other factors to consider when judging his most recent body of work. To complain about what he’s doing in the off season is just childish. It’s called the off, I repeat off – season. Pathetic that I even have to type this but some people need to be told how to think. Now try and begin to think with a little more clarity as your judgment is obviously clouded Off Seasonites.

  9. Traci on said:

    That’s why Flacco will never be a Peyton Manning caliber quarterback . It takes lot of time, prep and connection with your receivers and tight ends. Flacco doesn’t have that drive or motivation to do that on off time. He had the contract. He gets a check. He is happy with being adequate quarterback. The elite quarterbacks do go the extra mile and don’t blame offensive lines for their average effort.

    • Chris on said:

      I am really thinking that people are jealous of him because he is making good money AND he is a proven winner. Outplaying Manning and Brady in post season games must not have meant a thing to you.

    • James on said:

      A. Just because he hasn’t gotten together with his receivers doesn’t mean he isn’t going to.
      B. Joe isn’t going to throw anyone under the bus. Yes, fans and the media are blaming the o-line and they should be, but he won’t, Joe has excepted the blame.
      C. Fans seem to forget when he organized practices during the lockout and stayed in the hotel with the rookie receivers to help them with their playbook. And I believe he has held practices since then.

    • Mike on said:

      No one will ever be a Peyton Manning caliber quarterback. There is only one. Not even the other “elite” quarterbacks are Peyton Manning caliber. No one in the league matches his work ethic and drive. Just like we had Ray Lewis, who was unmatched defensively. Expecting Flacco to meet that level is unrealistic. But I will gladly take Joe’s winning percentage in the post-season over Manning’s any day.

  10. RustinRifle on said:

    Flacco has super physical tools but I question his drive to be the best. When he sought to be the highest paid player in the game it came with responsibilities. The reason the Raven offense led the league in getting blitzed is because they couldn’t solve it. I don’t question the intelligence so the problem must lay elsewhere. Great quarterbacks aren’t born , they work and hone their craft. Last season Manning held private workouts with Welker and the season before that all his receivers. Heck even Mark Sanchez had a passing camp with his receivers, when have we ever heard of Flacco doing that? Until Flacco starts putting in the extra work he’s going to be labelled as content with his play. There was no excuse why Flacco couldn’t pick up the phone when JH called, Steve Smith called or even contact the Ravens and ask what he could do to assist bring Smith into the fold. Flacco thus far is not giving the Ravens fair return on their investment and until he changes his ways he’ll hear more and more from the fans if he’s content with being average Joe.

    • James on said:

      Best comment ever.

      They would be wondering why he held the sessions so early. And they would be complaining that when things like OTAs start he will be out of sync with his receivers because too much time went by.

  11. John P on said:

    I’d like to add a bit of common sense here, then I’m going to leave to apply to be GM for the Redskins (apparently it doesn’t take much).

    At the start of free agency, who were the Ravens receivers anyway? Pitta, Brown, Mellette, Thompson, T Smith right? Jones & Dickson were/are free agents, S Smith was a Panther.

    So that means that he could throw to Pitta & Smith (both of whom he already has great chemistry with), a few guys who will either be minor role players, and Brown. At that time, his #2 & #3 receivers weren’t on the team, nor is Dickson (who may be coming back).

    Further, we’re probably not done with the receiving corps. So what’s the point? I guess he could gain something by playing catch with Brown, maybe?

    Ok, I’m done. I’ve got a phone call to make. Anbody get Dan Snyder’s number?

  12. Steph on said:

    I’ve finally had it with that ‘twice fired GM’. I REFUSE to listen to his show anymore. The guy spouts off at the mouth just for the sake of causing controversey, with rarely a fact behind his rantings. How long before he goes the way of Anita Marks?

  13. EdgarAllanPro on said:

    Who exactly should Joe have been throwing the ball to in the last three months?

    The entirety of the Ravens passing game with any field experience three weeks ago was:
    Torrey Smith
    Marlon Brown

    That’s it. Jacoby, Pitta and Steve Smith were all free agents or on other teams. There were no TEs on roster except practice squad guys. Former IR or practice squad folks in Melette and Thompson.

    Who the heck was he supposed to be working out with? Why not wait until you have at least HALF an opening day roster?

  14. Jay on said:

    The crazy part about all this is both pitta and torrey both have said there’s workouts already scheduled, yet when they happen all the flacco haters will say it’s only because he was criticized. And the thing about being at the facility to play catch with Steve Smith or whatever, Joe was out of the country with his family. So he was supposed to cut his vacation short to meet a guy who he can easily call or text or Skype and accomplish the same goal? They say he didn’t answer the phone when he was called, how many of you answer the phone every time it rings? He was on vacation so there’s a high possibility his phone wasn’t even with him at the time. I’m sure he called back, it’s not like he looked at the phone and said oh it’s Steve Smith and John harbaugh, I don’t feel like talking to them right now. A lot of you need to stop letting Skip Bayle- I mean Vinny Cerrato tell you what every nfl qb should and shouldn’t be doing on his own time. He’s a radio host now for a reason and by the way he never had a good qb in Washington so how would he know how to evaluate one. Playing catch in March obviously didn’t help them too much.

  15. Mark on said:

    Depending on the degree of the MCL sprain, it is possible that unnecessary movement on the knee would still be ill advised even 3 months later. We don’t and won’t know if there is a medical issue.
    It seems more than coincidence that both Super Bowl QB’s organized off-season workouts with their receivers. In fact, Russell Wilson had 22 offensive guys at his sessions.
    I think the bigger issue this year will be how Joe reacts to Kubiak, who is reported to hard-coach his QBs, especially about throwing the ball away and not making risky throws into coverage (or directly to defensive lineman standing 15 feet away) Joe can be an aggressive QB and still be smart with the ball and the sooner he gets the message the better. Call yourself a “gunslinger” but protect the damn ball.

  16. RAYVENRAYG on said:

    Joe will do the work at the appropriate time. The team was one score away from winning all but 4 of the loses and we were only beaten by more than one score in 3 games, Broncos, Patriots & Cincy for the season. The oline & no run game doomed Joe from the start because they could tell it was a pass play by where Ray was standing, & or if Leach was in the game so they could bring the house and 48 Sacks is not a QB problem. If it was a run play they already knew and could stack the box hence poor run game. No run game to fear, so interceptions go up as Joe is forced to make something happen to please his critics as well as his teammates and fans. The man has been quarterback for 6 years, he had 5 straight productive seasons and was SB MVP. One down year is simply one bad year. Lets judge him after he has the chance to bounce back. Hopefully that will take between 16 to 19 games not counting preseason and will be back where Joe has taken us 5 out of the six years into the playoffs. Give the man a chance short of John Unitas he the best we’ve ever had.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      Good points Ray but I beg to differ on this: “Give the man a chance short of John Unitas he the best we’ve ever had.”

      Joe is one step back in line BEHIND Bert Jones IMHO.

      • MrReasonable on said:

        Tony, I loved Bert, he was amazing. However, for as great as he was he never won a playoff game. Not one. He also could not stay healthy to save his life.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          If Bert had the team around him that Joe has had, he’d probably not have been injured so frequently and would absolutely have won a playoff game or more. Let’s not forget as weak as that team was, Bert carried them and was a league MVP. Joe has yet to make a Pro Bowl.

          • RustinRifle on said:

            Man, Tony in an alternate universe I’d love to know what kind of numbers Bert Jones could have put up for a career, while being surrounded by a quality organization instead of a buffoon. . The guy was truly a special talent. I’d given up on my hate for the Colts by history is history and the old adage the fish rots from the head may have been coined after someone dealt with Bob Irsay.

          • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

            RR, during the parties prior to SB XXXV I ran into Lydell Mitchell, incredibly nice guy. We talked about a number of things and one of them was Bert. I said, “Lydell, I know I might be biased but I believe that Bert was every bit as good as John Elway.” Lydell didn’t hesitate to say, “at least”, adding in so many words that he could have been better had he stayed healthy.

            I have had the pleasure of doing a show with Bruce Laird in Ocean City for a number of years and he gushes over his former teammate. Bruce said that during practice he didn’t have to be facing Bert to know the ball was thrown in his direction. He could hear it. Now that’s velocity!

          • nick on said:

            The Probowl is fan based. Brady, Manning, and Luck are going to make it every time because they’re flashy and trendy. Last year was different but Joe had nothing to work with. The probowl is a joke and is extremely irrelevant.

          • RustonRifle on said:

            Lydell is great I’d speak to him occasionally years ago over Carroll Park GC. I don’t know if he still frequents the place. I understand they didn’t win any Super Bowls but that group was as talented as any in the NFL. I never gave to much thought about it but I wonder if they had an owner with a steadying influence such as Steve Biscotti if we may have seen a Super Bowl out of that group? Anyway, I rarely post but love your content!! Keep up the great work! Maybe this goof will learn to spell his own moniker.;-)

          • John P on said:

            Are you smoking the Bert Jones Kool-Aid or something? You know, Ryan Leaf could have been better than Elway too – in a different life!

            Even your comparisons between Bert and Joe are weak. You say what Bert “could have done”. Sorry – doesn’t work. Joe has a well-deserved Super Bowl MVP trophy. And that’s all that matters.

          • RustonRifle on said:

            Sorry John P, Bert Jones was a special talent which was unfortunately cut short due to a sack by Bubba Baker in a preseason game. He won an NFL MVP and All Pro. Even today shoulder injuries are hard to overcome for athletes that use their arm. Joe played outstanding for a 4 game run I’m not taking that away but he doesn’t have the natural ability that Bert Jones had. Sorry. Dan Marino never won a championship #hemustsucktoo ;-0

          • MrReasonable on said:

            Bert was supremely talented, as good as I have ever seen. But, that team was not weak. It had the best front four in football, it had a very good secondary, it had a very, very good offensive line (George Kunz, Mendenhall, etc.) and it had Lydell Mitchell. If Bert had played on the 2013 Ravens and taken the hits that Flacco took last year, he’d still be picking up the pieces!

  17. ravensdfan on said:

    Um…I’m sure you all realize (though it has yet to mentioned) that Joe can’t just schedule a get-together. It is the off season for the WRs as well and they might have plans. It involves trying to manage everyone’s schedule so it can happen. If it doesn’t happen, that may well mean everyone could not find a time that suited everyone (or enough of everyone to bother).
    Flacco shows up every year for OTAs when many veterans do not (did not) even bother (cough*edreed*cough). Shoot, Reed didn’t even think it necessary to call & say he wasn’t showing up for mandatory work outs.
    BTW we had the worst O line in football by far last season. We had an historically bad running game (league historically bad, not just franchise historically bad). We had injuries and old &slow fill ins at receiver. Get real if you expected the passing game to just zoom along with all the other variables going on .

  18. Rick S on said:

    Joe Flacco has a perception problem. He just does not show his enthusiasm like some other players. If you are a lineman, people don’t notice, but if you are the quarterback, they do. Joe would help himself if he made a little more effort to show he’s more engaged. I know he can do it.
    On another note, I did notice that he has under thrown receivers on deep routes more than you would expect for someone with a strong arm like Joe’s. It is almost like he is afraid to throw the ball too far.
    I am glad Joe is our guy. Just wish a little of Ray Lewis had rubbed off on Joe!!! LOL

    • RustinRifle on said:

      Joe is one of the worst deep ball throwers in the league by statistics. It’s kinda weird because he has speed to work with. I attribute it to him being late with the ball because it happens even on short and intermediate routes. I’m no expert but he needs to work to get timing and signals down with his receivers. No excuses this year. I’m tired of reading this is going to be the year for ascension.

  19. PG County Raven on said:

    Whenever that playbook is completed and issued to the players, it would be great if the “entire” offense that’s under contract get together and walk through it. That’s too much like right for today’s pro players. LOL!

  20. bullseye on said:

    People, we may disagree whether Joe’s doing enough in the “offseason” while earning $20M a year, but let’s clarify the confusion around whether he’s gotten the playbook by now – below is the link to an Aaron Wilson story dated Feb 26, 2014:,0,4027630.story
    An excerpt from the story:
    Under the direction of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, the Ravens are nearly done installing their revamped playbook. Quarterback Joe Flacco will receive the playbook soon to get ready for organized team activities and minicamps. Flacco will participate in the offseason program and offseason camps, coach John Harbaugh says.
    “He’ll get the playbook as soon as we get it finished, which is very soon after we get back,” Harbaugh said at the NFL scouting combine. “It’s really done, so he’ll get the playbook right away, and I’m sure there will be conversations about Xs and Os to whatever extent is within the rules.
    “And Joe will probably take that and run with it. If you’ve got a playbook, it’s pretty self-explanatory if you know football, and Joe can take it and run with it and prepare for the [organized team activities]. Joe’s committed to being at the OTAs.”

    So Harbs was clear Joe would get the playbook shortly after they returned from the combine. The combine ended Feb 25th. Can we safely assume Joe’s got the playbook by now? And Harbs remark that Joe will “probably take that and run with it” speaks volumes to me. The key word is “probably”..

  21. Jan Marshall on said:

    Good Lord ppl give Joe a break , when in Ravens history have we had a QB nearly as good as him . What do u ppl expect you must learn it before u can practice it . Also as far as last year how the crap can u have good stats when your running for your life and the line cant open a hole to run the ball …………..SO to all Joe’s critics JUST SHUT UP !!

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