Breaking Down Joe Flacco v. Carolina

Street Talk Breaking Down Joe Flacco v. Carolina

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[24×7’s Tony Lombardi has identified some Good Joe Flacco plays from Sunday’s game vs. Carolina.  Using Tony’s YouTube post (see video below) as a guide, Chris Johnston will break down both sets of plays, with commentary, from Inside the Coach’s Office]


1st Qtr – 12:36 – 2nd& 16 – BAL 44

Joe did a solid job recognizing two high safeties, with a Nickel package of five defensive backs on the field.  At the snap of the ball, Panthers’ nickel back Richard Marshall (#31) jammed Ravens #2 receiver Anquan Boldin (#81) and carried him to the flat.  Flacco then turned his attention to Carolina safety Charles Godfrey (#30), who used poor technique in turning over his outside shoulder to assist Panthers’ CB Chris Gamble (#20) in defending T.J. Houshmanzadeh (#84).  Once Flacco saw Godfrey turn the wrong way, he quickly stepped up to deliver the ball to Houshmandzadeh.  Small coaching point: Joe left his back foot and hip “behind” on the throw – with no follow-through – causing the ball to be a second late.  Houshmandzadeh’s adjustment on the ball was a good one, however, and the catch was made.

1st Qtr -4:16- 1st& 10 – BAL 45

Running play action to an 8-man box, the Ravens gave Flacco time with an 8-man protection scheme.  As Joe came out of his handoff fake, his eyes went to Carolina FS Sherrod Martin (#23), then to CB Richard Marshall (#31) to see that they made the deep Cover 3 drops Flacco expected pre-snap.  They both did and the Ravens’ Quarterback wasted no time or movement delivering a nice ball over the underneath coverage that was influenced by the run fake.

2ndQtr -8:08 – 2nd& 9 – CAR18

Strong marks to Flacco for protecting the football, keeping his eyes up and looking downfield despite extreme duress in the pocket, and using his height in delivering a ball in traffic.  He made a play where there was none, mainly because he maintained downfield vision.  Quick coaching point, however: throwing the ball off-balance and in traffic is always dangerous.  Had something gone wrong (fumble, INT, etc.), Flacco would rightly be blamed for trying to do too much.  Risky throws under duress are a results-oriented business in which the player involved receives either 100% credit or 100% blame.

2nd Qtr -5:18-2nd& 10-BAL 49

Facing late-retreating CBs and an 8-man front, Flacco allowed Boldin (#81) to run off Carolina CB Gamble (#20), who was responsible for the deep outside 1/3 of the field.  Flacco delivered a well-placed “B” or slight trajectory ball to Todd Heap (#86) along the sideline.  Great pre-snap recognition by Joe.

3rdQtr -10:56-3rd& 8-BAL 20

Joe once again recognized a “soft” corner being played by Gamble (#20) and saw OLB James Anderson (#50) walk up to the line of scrimmage, which led him to believe a window in which to throw a shallow slant to Derrick Mason (#85) would develop.  The Ravens’ Quarterback wasted no time or motion and delivered a perfect ball to Mason.  Dropped.

3rdQtr -2:17-3rd& 6-BAL 33

The Ravens called a classic Cover 2-beater.  Short motion from Houshmandzadeh (#84) left him and Heap (#86) stacked at the snap of the ball.  Houshmandzadeh held the flat defender Captain Munnerlyn (#41) with a short out route, while Heap broke on a 45 degree angle to the sideline after 10 yards (flag route).  Flacco showed the legitimate NFL arm strength he has in delivering the only ball that could have been caught.  Great angles.  Great timing.


  • Flacco continues to progress and improve, and is doing so vs. a variety of coverage looks, thriving off play action passing and the threat of a solid running game.

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Chris Johnston

About Chris Johnston

The Complete QB Team Clinics and Individual Coaching Sessions are provided by the Complete QB Founder and Director, Christopher Johnston. For over a decade, Coach Johnston has trained young men in the Quarterback position, including high school Quarterbacks who earned HCIAA Honors in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. His success with Quarterbacks is due to Coach Johnston's approach as a teacher of those playing the position. Coach Johnston was previously the QB and DB Coach at Hudson Catholic Regional High School (2007 Group 3 State Semi-Finalist and 2008 Group 2 State Finalist) in Jersey City, New Jersey. Coach Johnston also served as the Defensive Coordinator, Assistant Head Coach, and Quarterbacks Coach at Xavier High School in New York, New York. Coach Johnston's assessment and coaching skills have earned him a solid reputation for his ability to develop Quarterbacks among his coaching peers and thousands of athletes. Since 2004, in addition to his on-field coaching experience, Coach Johnston's expertise has afforded him multiple opportunities to appear regularly on a variety of Sports Talk Radio Shows regarding the NCAA and NFL Quarterback play.  More from Chris Johnston


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