Since being drafted by the Ravens back in 2008 with the 18th overall pick, Joe Flacco has started every regular season and playoff game for the Baltimore Ravens. That spans include 73 games.
Flacco has thrown 2,207 of the Ravens 2,227 passes during this time. Troy Smith with 13 passes thrown is second followed by Mark Clayton and Ray Rice with 2 each. What this all suggests is that the fifth-year signal caller is durable and his toughness is understated.
And the Ravens better hope that he is football’s answer to Cal Ripken.
In dark corners of neighborhood pubs, fans might whisper the unthinkable – “What happens if Joe goes down?”
Many reading this will react to such a question in a way that many from the cast of True Blood would to the rising sun. Others will say, “You’ve just jinxed the team!”
Yet no one can deny it’s a daunting question to which there is no clear answer.
The most common answer served up by those willing to accept the possibility is, “If Joe goes down so too will the Ravens season.”
Tyrod Taylor has thrown 1 regular season pass in the NFL. One! His style couldn’t be more different than Flacco’s and it begs the question, could Taylor even execute an offense built around No. 5?
Could Cam Cameron tailor an offense around Taylor?
To skipper an effective offense Cameron would have no choice but to build a game plan suited to Taylor’s skill sets. But since his two quarterbacks are practically polar opposites, can the rest of the supporting cast adapt? Would such a game plan require a more fluid blocking scheme? Are the talents of the team’s offensive line dynamic enough to execute such a change?
During the years when Brian Billick was the team’s head coach, he championed the importance of having a backup quarterback who possessed the core competencies of the starter so that the team wouldn’t be forced to make drastic adjustments to accommodate the backup. Matt Cassel comes to mind after he replaced Tom Brady who suffered a season ending knee injury on opening day of the 2008 season.
More repetitions of the same sequencing and plan lead to better results. Mix in a QB with a vastly different style and it materially changes the plan – and the results.
Tyrod Taylor is a very good football player. The uncertainty lies in whether he would even be a good QB in the Ravens offense or any offense for that matter.
Let’s hope that the Ravens aren’t forced to find out.
Let’s also hope that Ozzie Newsome kept Marc Bulger’s cell phone number.