The Baltimore Ravens need to help Joe Flacco Be Successful:
Joe Flacco needs certain things to be successful. There are quarterbacks who can do it all by themselves, that lift the team up on their shoulders. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers fall into this category, Flacco does not. Like 90 percent of quarterbacks, Flacco needs the right situation to reach his highest level of performance. The Ravens can win with Flacco, and life without him would be rough. He is a franchise quarterback, but he should not be asked to lift the entire franchise.
Flacco has always made more out of less. We can debate who was the Ravens top target over the years, but it is an inarguable point that the Ravens have never had elite weapons around Flacco. Flacco can get by with what the Ravens have given him in most seasons, a veteran receiver, a solid tight end and a play-maker in the backfield. If you ask Flacco to throw 45-50 times a game though, you need to get him better weapons. A pass happy offense needs weapons that make defenses unhappy when they have to defend the pass.
Tempo and rhythm are two things that get overlooked. When Flacco had Gary Kubiak as his masterful offensive coordinator, you could see the difference. Flacco was playing with tempo. His body language was different. He was firing out from the snap, eager to attack down the field. Even with Cam Cameron, Flacco was fearless and unflappable.
Fixing The Problem
Now Flacco seems to be sleep walking out on the field. It isn’t that he does not care, as many people interpret. It’s that everything is happening in slow motion, everything is sluggish and it isn’t fun. When the Ravens get Flacco moving out of the pocket, good things happen. When the Ravens have Flacco play with tempo things start to happen. Flacco of course, is a streaky player. Why the Ravens can’t see how to get these streaks started is beyond me.
Let’s call this football metabolism. Football metabolism is a term that a friend of mine thought of. It simply means the pace at which the game comes to the player. When Flacco is playing fast, loose and fearless, things like the 2012 playoffs happen. When Flacco is in a lull and the offense is sluggish, things like the 2016 season happen.
The Ravens can solve the problem by rolling Flacco out of the pocket, picking up the tempo and fixing his footwork. His footwork improves as his football metabolism improves, meaning he plays sharper when he is in attack mode. That final drive against the Steelers was epic, even if Big Ben ruined it in the last minute. You could see the difference. Flacco played with urgency and with a sense of purpose. His football metabolism picked up, and his results skyrocketed. Fixing Flacco could be as easy as monitoring his football metabolism.