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October 13, 2008

Critical week for Flacco

flacco.jpgRookie quarterback Joe Flacco said basically the same thing after each of the Ravens' first four games. Whether the team won or lost, he volunteered that "it was fun."

I wasn't in Indianapolis yesterday, but I'm guessing those words were not in his post-game vocabulary. There is nothing fun about what the Colts did to Flacco and there is nothing positive to be taken from a game like that other than the fact that all of his important ligaments are still intact.

What's important now is not that he is 2-3 in his first five regular-season starts. What is important is how he handles the doubts that have to be bubbling up inside of him and the negative energy that is swirling around the team after such a one-sided defeat. That calm demeanor everybody has been talking about the past few weeks is going to be tested as the fans become impatient and the tenor of the media inquiries becomes more negative.

I'm guessing he can handle it. He came back from the tough loss against the Steelers to hold his own against Tennessee. He'll have an opportunity to bounce back against less formidable competition the next two weeks -- though playing the Dolphins in Miami is going to be no picnic.

The same goes for rookie head coach John Harbaugh, who refused to dissect the individual performances of some of his players after the game. He kept the focus squarely on the team, which was both logical and appropriate, since this hugely disappointing performance was definitely a team effort.

Associated Press file photo

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 6:15 AM | | Comments (26)
Categories: Just football


Joe Flacco: Show some emotion will you!! Do you have a pulse? Calm demeaner is one thing but geez, show us you have the insides to let us know it bothers you and pisses you off. Show some fire will you.

It's a good day to be a Colts fan. Sorry it had to come from the Ravens expense. I listened to it on 98 Rock while working out in the sun.
On other news, I don't get the brushback pitch and throwing at batters. It's stupid and if your going to retaliate, try hitting a home run or just get on base.
Russell Martin of the Dodgers saying it's just part of baseball. Well no it isn't. Try striking the guy out. It's boring baseball when they do that. Manny being restrained and all the players on the field like their going to do something brings out the worst in baseball.
Stop throwing at people.

I really wanted to not like Flacco from the draft on. I was a Troy Smith advocate all the way. I saw some things in him during the first couple weeks that started to turn me. He may be a great quarterback one day. But I dont think that day is anytime soon. The learning curve excuses are growing old. I don't doubt the challenge of being a rookie quarterback, but Matt Ryan seems to be handling it well. Naming Flacco as the starter for the rest of the season is a mistake in my opinion. No player should be guaranteed a starting job. If they consistantly underperform, the next man should get a chance; to do what's best for the team. I'm not saying that time is now, but maybe soon.
I love this football team. I have a room devoted to it and I spend more money than I really can afford supporting them at games and in gear. I will still be in those stands if we lose the rest of the season, but at least have it make sense. If Flacco stays in and we basically chalk this season up to developmental, at least try some things outside of the Billick style of offense (run, run, pass to the flats).
Ravens for Life

Pete's reply: Matt Ryan was the top quarterback in the draft. Not a fair comparison.


yea it was a bit ridiculous when we were running the ball in the 3rd and 4th quarters down by god knows how many points. not one deep ball. i just dont understand it. you want to win or at least be competitive dont you? then throw the fing ball down field already. flacco isnt retarded. let the kid play.

coaching, coaching, coaching. its lost us 3 games in a row.

I feel that Joe Flacco or any Ravens QB will be completely handcuffed this year due to a complete and utter lack of offensive playmakers. Mason is a beautiful possesion receiver, but there is not a true playmaker on the Ravens offense and they really haven't had one since an effective and healthy Heap which was quite a while ago. Until they can get a few offensive playmakers, the QB's will struggle. That is why in games like this I would like to see Troy Smith-he can be a playmaker on his own without throwing the ball which may loosen up other aspects and is use to playing in front of large intimidating crowds from his Ohio State days. When you are losing like the Ravens were yesterday, you have to show a willingness to try something different and the lack of creativity in that situation was disappointing to say the least. I think their confidence was heavily shook after the previous 2 losses, and after this one, the vets need to step up and inject that enthusiasm and confidence back into the team. They looked dead in the water from the opening snap yesterday. I hope we don't have to see that Ravens team again this year.

This comment goes to Joe. Joe, don't you think that the Colts knew we would have to score quickly and played back for that? The reason we didn't throw the ball deep after the Colts got the lead is because they were back in a prevent. Plus the Colts play a Cover 2 which is designed to take away the deep pass.

Garrett Olson thinks Flacco played well yesterday.

Is this turning into ground hog day in baltimore. Another year and another qb who just throws into coverage and stares down receivers so the linemen can get their hands up because they know its coming. I think the price that was wanted to trade up and get Ryan would have been well worth it, I know Flacco is a rookie but he needs to show some progress each game and not get worse. Do we have a franchise qb or a clone of Kyle Boller.

How can you throw deep when none of the Raven Receivers lack speed and more important, have trouble holding onto the ball when thrown to them!!!!

How did he hold his own against the titans? pretty sure he didn't help. Also he can't read coverages, can't hand the ball off without running into his own teammates and can't really throw the ball away when there is no one open. So what can he do besides suck?

anyone drafted in the first round should be game ready....

if theyre not, then they should be in a later round.

ravens brass were hoping flacco would be just like roethlisberger, a hidden gem in the first round, but seriously.......dude couldnt beat out tyler palko at pitt?

meanwhile a heisman trophy winner, and team leader, "may be given the chance to compete for the back up job"

I can't believe everyone is so critical of Flacco. He didn't lose the game yesterday, the whole team did. The Raven's can't play Indy's Cover 2. They never have been able to. Our 4th string CB was covering the Y receiver and the Colts put Reggie Wayne in the slot against Ivy, our 5th string CB. I mean, they called a perfect game. Manning was the number 1 draft pick when he was a rookie. His first couple years he was anything but God's gift to the NFL. He was more towards being God awful. Flacco should, at the very least, be held to the same standards. Get the kid some receivers and let the offensive line get some experience. Its sad to see so many people lose faith in our players. These aren't the Orioles. Pete, I think you can agree with me, the Raven's are 4-1 with having ONE downfield threat.


Indulge me here.

I happen to think the issue with the Ravens is in fact that Harbaugh has lost the locker room. Now before we all jump to conclusions let me finish my thought. I don't really think at the core he ever had the locker room. As long as we were winning it was rah rah happy happy joy joy. But now that we are losing look at the difference. Players are pouting and the discipline issues are on the Rise. Now THIS is not his fault. I actually think deep down he is vetting out the cancer and this will be addressed in this coming off season.

I actually see it this way. Ray Ray thank you very much for all you have done but no thank you good luck elsewhere as we can all see the injury that gives you the back-end of the season is coming soon. Suggs I know you are saying you want to be here. ?? But is that not actually you want a big contract here. ?? Bye Bye also. McGahee you don't want to show up in shape or participate in off season mini-camps.?? Bye bye as we don't have time for it. Bart Scott you may be the mad backer and we may keep you but you are on a short leash. And so on for a few other malcontents and slackers.

Ozzie its time we drafted for Need not the best available. Can we PLEASE PLEASE pretty please draft a real fricking wide receiver rather than all these projects that never pan out. Can we also address the offensive line the same way. No projects on the back end.

Now next year we will see a different environment here. And if any of you don't think a coach having his players ear is not important I submit exhibit one. The Rams beating the Deadskins yesterday. That was all Haslett and the players believing in him. Our current core players are not buying into nor will they ever HarBaugh's vision.

Where is the play calling? Why do we run 5 yard routes 99% of the time? Where is Todd Heap? What was McAllister doing yesterday (too many plays to point out)? Why is Frank Walker on this team? Why does Ivy play anything other than special teams? Miami and Oakland back to back will determine if we are a 8-8 team or a 3-13 team. All we as Ravens fans should ask for is progress knowing this was a rebuilding year. However, not sure we are progressing right now and it starts with the coaching.

I had this one penciled in for a loss simply because our beat up secondary was no match for a guy who is still one of of,if not the top QB in football.Secondly the have had our numberfor some reason for the last 7 games,you'll just have teams that give you fits sometimes.We were out coached outplayed and for the first tie this year,out hustled and outfought.But barring a bad call in both tht Tennessee and Pittsburgh games we could just as easily be 4-1 and not 2-3.Flacco will improve,and seemed to get into a groove various times during the game.I diagreed with our game plan,we should have run right at them and pounded the ball from the beginning.And I like the fact that you can't tell whether Flacco is winning by 10 or losing by 20.If you think he doesn't care Bob C.,you're clueless.Maybe if hesaid a tear or two like Elvis Grbac did you would like him better?How inane!Let's win the next 2 ,get healthy and take care of business.And by the way,take a look at the Falcon's schedule and see how Ryan would have fared playing Piitsburgh in Pittsburgh,Tenneessee,and Indy in Indy,then compare the 2 of them.Enough said.

I think the ravens need 2 bench flacco rite now. he's a rookie n dont need two be startin rite now. Let him develope first. He already have eight pics and what 5 lost fumbles. I dont no other coach in the NFL that would keep him the starter. We need to put troy smith..he's a good playmaker. Harbaugh need to wake up. Its looking like another brian billick era. PUT TROY SMITH IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

flacco is going to be a great qb,but he is going to have a few bumps along the way.joe will be a probowl player in 3 years.

Yes, it is a good day to be a Colts fan. It's my 38th season rooting for the Colts. From Johnny U and bert Jones to jack Trudeau, Jim Harbaugh, and Peyton Manning.

Why couldnt the coaches or the ownership see that we need a veteran quarterback (...not Boller) that could at least get us through this season. Ozzie should know better. knows what he should know, it's his first head coach gig, and probably would not get a fair shake when put in this position. What happened to letting a young QB mature a little, watch a vet, hit the weights, and study a little more of the playbook his first year? Is this not the standard for grooming a pro QB? We should just throw him out there with this O-Line to get beat to death and rush his decisions when his pocket evaporates before his eyes? Bad idea starting this guy...this what I said in the very beginning. Don't ruin another QB! Does anyone remember how this story goes in B-more??? Ehhh....Baltimore has been hideous on offense for (basically) their entire existence...and this year is yet another continuation of that very trend we all hope will change someday. I do feel Flacco could be made into a top-10 QB, but I don't believe he has that unbelievable ability to play that warrants him a starting position on a team that could possibly fight for a playoff spot if we had a decent QB that has been around the block. Why must we always accept - 'this is a rebuilding year' as an excuse? If you want to call it that, then we have got to look at those who are in control of personell, that has put us in this position that we must suck and call it a 'rebuilding year, or 'a work in progress'? Hello! The offense has been a work in progress since the Ravens started...Please! Stop saying that! Even rookies that are playing, or first year QB's this year have had way better success than Flacco has (personal stats wise). Quit drinking the purple kool-aid and get a dose of reality...It will be another year of hard-to-watch football for us Ravens fans. Pete...sorry to sound so fed up, but optimism runs out after so many years with all the promises that have been made.

Pete's reply: I understand the frustration, but remember this team was 13-3 two seasons ago and has a Super Bowl in this decade. Orioles fans would love to have your problems. And if you're also an O's fan, you would love to have your problems, but you'd be conflicted.

i say we draft Darrius Heyward-Bey in this upcoming draft. THAT should open up the offense, huh Pete?

Pete's reply: It might. Do you think he would be a true deep threat in the NFL?


well joe flacko had a bad game this past sunday. i would have liked the ravens pound the colts in the ground.lets hope the whole team shows up to play miami on the 19th. especially thoses filling in for the injuredd players.i think the fans getting on flacko's case ought to calm down. we all knew that he was going to make some rookie mistakes and some of them were going to be bad mistakes.joe can't learn over night how to read the other teams defenses

You do have a point Pete...
I have been a O's fan, and I wish they could muster a winning season for once this decade. I also believe that has a lot to do with those making personell decisions - ehhm...and the ownership. Being an O's fan makes you figure out what team would like to cheer for when the playoffs come - every season. So, I must say - since the Phils are doing great the past couple years with Gillick making decisions. Oh wait! Didn't he work for the O's? Anyway, I have to say, I am fed up with all this optimism that we are supposed to have with this rookie and the 'new offense' - that (let's face it) does not look ANY different from any other year. To address you comment about 'don't forget we were 13-3 two seasons ago' - we had a veteran QB making decisions for offense - that had been tested in about every circumstance. Now, I believe he really didn't want to play the following season - especially since he was hurt a million times, which attributed to a bad season afterward. All this aside, with the team we have, we should not be using a rookie, especially one we hope to have work for us productively for the next 8 or so years. This is a good way to get him decapitated and destroy any confidence he may gain from 'winning', when really - any wins he has is a result of our standard defense. I do agree with others here that have said we need to bolster our recieving corps up, and we also need to get some big bodies to protect the QB. Ozzie like to spend the big bucks and top picks on defensive picks that keeps our defense going at our steady pace. Just think, had he spent the same amount of time getting guys to relace J.O. and build up our O-line over the past several years, maybe even Boller would have had a shot. So Pete, I must say, I still think Flacco should not be playing, we should be looking fo a vet we can bring in. But, I guess regardless of all the support Flacco will get, if he performs like this another 2-3 weeks, I bet you he will be benched anyway. Us football fans can get fed up with these type of things. When comparing a 17 game NFL season to a 162 game season in MLB - we tend to want action a little sooner. Don't you think?

Pete's reply: I think you're right about one thing. If he's got five or six more interceptions after the Oakland game, it'll be hard to keep sending him out there.

Yes Pete...I am a bitter O's fan, and it is bleeding over into my Ravens cheer...rahrahrah. I just hate to see a NFL team that we have in B-more that the league respects - be treated so half-heartedly. For one, we can get respect for a pro team and.....well nevermind. I guess I have to be happy with the Super Bowl we got in this decade. The O's have not won since ' I guess I must just live with it. You are right. I am conflicted on my B-more teams. I wish success for both...but don't want the Ravens purple to turn into that orange colored bird! Where did Dereck Anderson go? LOL. apologies for the rant Pete.


I wrote a comment yesterday in which I compared Flacco to Matt Ryan. You said: Pete's reply: Matt Ryan was the top quarterback in the draft. Not a fair comparison.
It seems I am not the only making these comparisons,0,4597983.story

I just dont see how it is an unfair comparison. Flacco was still taken in the first round and we moved up to get him. My point is simply this; not all rookies start out hot, I get that. And Flacco is showing signs that he could be a top tier quarterback one day. But that day probably isnt soon, and to lock him in as the starter is insane if he continues to perform like this. Its not fair to the team and especially the fans.

Pete's reply: I agree if this continues for awhile, Harbaugh shouldn't be stubborn about putting him out there, but it's early. Look at Manning's performance on MNF. It happens.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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