Change Doesn’t Flap Unflappable Flacco

Lombardi's Way Change Doesn’t Flap Unflappable Flacco

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Welcome to The Ravens Town Tavern

The Pro Bowl has become such a joke!

Let’s harken back to last year when they changed the format to that of a pick up game and one of the teams was captained by a buffoon named Deion Sanders. Any time that guy is on TV it’s like nails to a chalkboard – and really that’s an insult to the chalkboard.

But really, this game, which believe it or not I actually once enjoyed, has been reduced to a WWE-like spectacle. Maybe they should just let Vince McMahon run it. He is still around, right?

Today we learned that Andy Dalton is one of the quarterbacks.

Andy Dalton!

Screenshot 2015-01-20 11.44.23

If any team from this point forward agrees to an incentive that includes Pro Bowl participation they should immediately fire their GM.

Participation in that spectacle unfortunately no longer rewards merit.

Joe Flacco turned down the offer because baby No. 3 is on his/her way but that aside, how do Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford get the call before Joe? Ryan has all-world receivers and plays 9 games indoors while Stafford plays no less than 8 games indoors and has more weaponry than Eastern Europe, yet he can’t win jack!

BREAKING: Browns QB Brian Hoyer was just named as Pro Bowl Alternate! (I jest…I think)

As early as today the Ravens may announce their new offensive coordinator. But given the presence of Joe Flacco, a solid offensive line and the team’s track record for advancing coaching careers (14 Ravens assistants have moved on to become head coaches), what’s the hurry?

Word is Adam Gase was in town to take a shot at dazzling the Ravens’ brass and there are a few others who might get a look as well, including Marty Mornhinweg.

Mornhinweg coached alongside John Harbaugh for several seasons in Philadelphia. As long as you keep Marty away from coin flip decisions, he’s a solid coach and probably a lifer as a coordinator.

Somewhat troubling with Mornhinweg and Gase is the fact that their most recent bosses (Rex Ryan and John Fox respectively) have accepted head coaching jobs elsewhere since the end of the season and opted not to take either with them. Gase’s colleague Jack Del Rio also was hired as head coach in Oakland and the thought of bringing him west as the Raiders OC was apparently not very appealing.

Last thought on the coordinators…

Rick Dennison and Brian Pariani might not be all that ambitious. If Dennison had stayed on as a coordinator in Baltimore, he would have been able to establish himself apart from Gary Kubiak. Now the perception is that he’s just a Kubiak guy and that could inhibit his ability to become a head coach, assuming that’s on his professional bucket list.

Pariani may have had a shot (albeit long) at the coordinator’s job here in Baltimore. Instead he opted for a parallel move to Denver where the sidelines aren’t as secure as they are in Charm City. Elway is developing into a somewhat volatile executive and friendship aside, if the Broncos’ fortunes take a turn south, he won’t hesitate to part ways with Kubiak.

And make no mistake about it the potential for an implosion is there in Denver.

Given the uncertainties surrounding Manning, some big contracts that will come due soon (Thomas, Thomas & Miller) coupled with highly paid aging vets that might fail to perform to the level of their contracts, this coaching posse could soon be on the outside looking in.

Many have worried about the lack of continuity at the offensive coordinator position and the effects those changes have on Flacco. Perhaps Flacco has the best perspective on that.

“Football is football. I mean, come on guys, we’re talking about a bunch of football players,” he said. “It’s not tough to learn an offense. At the end of the day, you have a formation, you have protection, you have a direction to run the ball and you have a route to run as a receiver. It’s not that tough. If you can’t learn an NFL offense, then obviously you shouldn’t be there. … I’m saying, we’re not the brightest people, so therefore how hard can an NFL offense be?”

There’s no reason a new coordinator can’t adapt to the things that have worked for the Ravens in 2014 and embrace much of the already in-place terminology. Isn’t it easier for a couple of coaches to adapt to new terminology than dozens of players?

Keep it simple and let the players think less and play faster.

Flacco concurs…

“Last year, in particular, we were doing a lot of thinking out there and trying to handle everything that we could. So I think one of the biggest things in this offense is just the fact that they want us to go out there and play fast.

“And because of that, you can’t have things be too complicated, especially up front. You have to have things simple so that guys can go out there and not really worry about eight different things on one play. They’re worried about one thing on the play, maybe two things, and we’re snapping the ball and going and we’re playing fast and we’re doing what we’re good at.”


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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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