Joe Flacco’s Audible Springs Wallace

Street Talk Joe Flacco’s Audible Springs Wallace

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It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. In fact, it was basically the Ravens football we’ve all become accustomed too.

The offensive line left a lot to be desired, the pass protection for Joe Flacco was spotty and the defense played well, even if a few pass rushers were unable to corral Tyrod Taylor at times.

As Ray would say: the bottom line is that the Ravens are 1-0 after defeating the Buffalo Bills 13-7 in the 2016 season opener.

Among the highlights of Sunday’s victory was the freedom Flacco has in his second-year with offensive coordinator Marc Trestman.

No one appreciated that freedom more than first-year Ravens receiver Mike Wallace, who sounded like a kid on Christmas morning when asked about his touchdown play.

“It was a check,” said Wallace. “We had a run called. Joe [Flacco] just checked the play. We have a veteran quarterback that has been around for so long and has been in every situation.

“He knows the right thing to do every time, and it just came into effect. It was a great throw. All I had to do was run under it. I’ve been doing that for a long time.”

Per Elias Sports Bureau, Wallace’s 66-yard touchdown catch was longest first TD in a player’s debut with a new team since Steve Smith‘s 80-yard score vs. the Bengals in 2014.

While the speedy receiver wouldn’t give the exact check away, he did say that they have plenty to keep opposing defenses guessing when Joe doesn’t like what he sees at the line.

In fact, Wallace himself wasn’t sure if the check out of the play was to him or not when Joe audibled during the second-quarter play.

“Honestly, I didn’t, but I knew there was a chance,” said the smiling wideout. “On that play, you have a lot of different options – I just got the right coverage.

“Steve [Smith Sr.] did a great job – he ran across the field, and the safety ran with him. I was one on one with the other safety. And, if you have a safety on me, he’s dead every time.”

The Ravens had a need for speed in their offense this season and although there were limited targets to speedsters Sunday, Wallace, Breshad Perriman and rookie Chris Moore were all utilized. While the offense stuttered at times, it became vastly clear to Flacco the need to get that newfound speed more involved.

“Yeah, we had two big plays with them, it was a good start,” stated Flacco about Perriman’s and Wallace’s big plays. “You can see what Mike [Wallace] can do. They played ‘cover zero’ a handful of times, and we only really took advantage of it on that one play.”

Here’s to them building on the number of times they take advantage of such matchups in the near future.


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Brian Bower

About Brian Bower

Brian Bower is avid football fan, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past 6 years. This will be his 3rd season with the Russell Street Report. His work has been featured on, ESPN blogs, Comcast SportsNet Baltimore, as well as the Baltimore Ravens web page. He is also a regular guest on local radio and ESPN Radio in Honolulu, Hawaii. Brian is very involved in the community and has spent the last twenty years as a volunteer firefighter. Email him at [email protected]

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