Dear Joe, Shut Up And Play!

Lombardi's Way Dear Joe, Shut Up And Play!

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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!

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 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 and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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