Ravens Training Camp: Quarterback competition won’t be a distraction
Lamar Jackson’s arrival has stirred up competition at the quarterback position. Do the Ravens have a quarterback controversy and does it matter?
The Baltimore Ravens do have competition at the quarterback position. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that Lamar Jackson could steal Joe Flacco’s job. At this point there is no quarterback controversy. Flacco is the starting quarterback and Jackson is the future. The Ravens are in a position to wait with Jackson and there is no indication that the Ravens have other plans.
Joe Flacco won’t be distracted by the quarterback competition, because it’s the opposite of a distraction. Some people could get all worked up in Flacco’s position, but Flacco is going to handle this well. Flacco’s job is on the line and this thought will act as a funnel; his concentration will be on playing well. It’s his job to lose, not Jackson’s job to win. Flacco has the advantage of being the incumbent quarterback. Flacco basically told reporters that if he wins, this all will quiet down.
Jackson won’t be distracted because he’s going to be given plenty of work to do. Jackson has to absorb all the information about the offense. He has to work on his footwork and his technique. Jackson is a rookie, one that the Ravens are going to groom very carefully and incredibly diligently. Jackson is motivated by ambition, which is obvious because nobody aspires to be the backup quarterback. That won’t distract him, if anything it will make him work harder.
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Neither quarterback has an incentive to be distracted by all the QB battle nonsense. Jackson would make a bad impression if he was impatient or whiny about sitting behind Flacco. Flacco would look unfocused and rattled if he was pouting or displayed anger. This isn’t Steve Young vs. Joe Montana. Young felt like he was never going to get his shot; Montana was a Super Bowl winning legend who quite frankly should have been annoyed by a quarterback controversy. Flacco is out the door in a year or two. Jackson knows his turn is coming soon enough and neither Jackson or Flacco have a confrontational personality.
This won’t be a distraction for the team, because the team has always been behind Flacco. Flacco needs to do better winning over the fans, but he has always been a hit with his teammates. There are countless examples of Flacco being supported or even praised by his fellow players. The biggest reason that quarterback controversy won’t be a distraction in training camp is because neither quarterback will play into it. This tweet by Jeff Zrebiec, of The Athletic, kind of sums up everything in a nutshell. Eric Weddle, who is a leader of the team is basically quoted saying there is no controversy. Weddle is a very good barometer for the team, because he is such an important person in the locker room.
There is competition. Jackson wants the starting job. Joe wants to keep his job and the only thing the Baltimore Ravens want is to win. There is competition but it’s Flacco’s job to lose. The controversy is not being fueled by the players, but by the people outside the organization.
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