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Reading too much into Flacco's comments

I see the radio sports-talk shows are buzzing about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's comments regarding the team's newly-signed backup QB, Marc Bulger.

The comments -- which you can read here -- were made the other day to Sun beat reporter and Ravens Insider blogger Jamison Hensley.

And they seemed to suggest a certain, oh, wariness on the part of Flacco as to how Bulger's presence will affect the chemistry between the quarterbacks who will be with the team when the season opens.

Me, I didn't read the comments as even being remotely a shot at Bulger.

 The only reason they were noteworthy at all is because Flacco is generally so guarded about expressing his opinions in the first place.

In this case, I think he was simply expressing the reality that one of last year's backup QB's, Troy Smith or John Beck, will be cut at some point to make room for Bulger.

 And that the cozy (it seems) relationship between Flacco, Smith and Beck will be affected in some way by the move.

Big deal.

But that's what happens when a famously-reticent team leader on the Ravens lets down his guard a little and speaks from the heart. It goes viral and spreads across Ravens Nation in a heartbeat.

No wonder so many big-time athletes often feel the best thing they can say to the media is: "No comment."

Some days, it probably is.



Joe was just taking a diplomatic approach. What else is he supposed to say with John Beck and Troy Smith still on the roster as of right now?

I agree. Is he supposed to be happy that one of his friends is losing there job at some point?

Of course it will upset the current Chemistry, as Bulger is not apart of any Chemistry the Ravens have, as he as not been to one Practice yet.

What would really upset the team chemistry is if Beck or Smith had to play extended time at QB.

Kevin - I agree 100%. Joe was being honest - an accurate - and is now catching flack (sorry) for it.

Kevin, I totally agree with you. There's no way that Flacco's comments should be thought of as a shot at Bulger.

I agree Kevin, to add he is concerned for his two backups and maybe a little concerned for himself which is only natural. Maybe he should have remained silent but don't we want more from our players as fans and as media.

The point most people are making -- and I agree -- is there is no point.

Everyone knows any change of ingredients is going to change the chemistry. And the outcome. So what is the point?

Joe likes Troy and John? There are other ways to present that than to say how much wondering you are doing about this unknown ("I haven't met him yet") coming in.

And while Joe is doing this wondering out loud to the press, he emphasizes multiple times how sure he is Marc is a nice guy and all that. Funny how one is so sure about that, yet is still doing all of this wondering. Out loud. And to the press.

I know the feeling are mixed on Bulger's record. Me? I'm all for the signing. He performed well when he had some residual parts left over from the Greatest Show gang. He did reasonable well when the team became an incoherent bunch of parts. He was a stand-up leader. He took responsibility even when others should have shared the blame. He became a punching bag. He never tossed anyone under the proverbial bus. And he said he will do anything to help Flacco and the Ravens.

Joe's response? He's sure Marc can show him a thing or two.

There's that "sure" thing again. And a thing or two? Is Joe so sure he has learned so much in two years there are only tiny little bits remaining to be learned? Or is he insinuating the nine year veteran has so little to offer? Nah. Couldn't be. He's sure Marc is a nice guy.

One thing I am sure about is Joe has a lot to prove. Whether he has learned most of what there is to know or not, he now has to prove it. The honeymoon is over. The excuses are gone. Expectations are high. How cozy the quarterbacks meetings are is of little consequence now.

Another thing I am sure about is the Raven brain trust is so confident of Smith and Beck, the kept sending an obviously injured Flacco out to play week after week. Now, they have taken a flyer on Bulger. The brain trust never said it was a lack of confidence in Flacco. It could have been read that way but the brain trust never brought it up just to deny it in the same sentence. Maybe Joe should learn that.

Flacco also said how this team was better than any team he's ever been on. Given this is only his third NFL season, that's not a great proclamation. It also sounds like winning 12 games is a foregone conclusion.

Yeah, well, Joe, this sport does funny things to expectations. While this "best" team hasn't lost any games yet, it hasn't won any yet either.

It is fine to have high expectations. And to express them. I have high expectations, too. But I would rather hear about all of the hard work in front of you to get all of the new parts working on the same page and how tough you are expecting opponents to be than anointing a team that hasn't played a single down yet.

Call it overreaction if you want, but I liked it better when Joe the Quarterback said nothing than I do when he puts that nothing to words. At best, it sounds like there are things to read between the lines. At worst, there actually is something between the lines.

I think it is a good thing, as a leader he needs to let his gaurd down once in a while because a leader speaks for his team. I think this might show another step in his maturing process as a team leader.

So waspman, if the point is no point, why why 12 paragraphs of verbosity on no point?

It was immature and inappropriate, A starting quarterback's first duty is what is best for the team, and this is (and for him too). One injury and Joe might be watching how a true vet leads his team to/through the playoffs. He should be chomping at the bit to pick Bulger's brain. Instead he is coming off as selfish and insecure. Maybe he felt Beck and Smith were less of a threat to his job.
Not "cool" Joe, not at all.

Sounds to me like Joe is loosing his comfort zone at his position because maybe two buds of his might have to hit the road because of an overpaid backup qb.Let's face a fact here;Bulger has been reported to be earning more than Joe,but,he has more years in the league,ok?If Marc does'nt concede that there's not too high a chance that he'll play a lot of the reg. season then he starts to stress from deviating from being counted on to produce to standing on a sideline and making easy money.Joe is still young,the starter, and he should'nt feel threatened by Bulger's presence as his backup.I really don't approve 100% of the org. bringing Marc as the backup,but,if this deal ends up creating some kind of strife in the lockerroom and lousy chemistry on the practice field then I might have to assume that Ozzy and Harbs might have overreached in protecting the team from a Flacco injury and having another vet ready in the backround.

Waspman: You said you would rather hear Joe talk about all the hard work in front of him to get all of the new parts working on the same page. Here is his quote from a day or two before: "I think we have a bunch of guys who want to do well," Flacco said. "In order to do that, you have to work hard at it. We have the right guys to do it. I think we're headed in the right direction."

Happy now! Give the guy a break. Leaders should have opinions and not be afraid to express them as long as they don't pull a team's chemistry apart.

People of few words always run up against this. When a non-BSer speaks, for some reason it's viewed as aggression and blown out of proportion. People tend to read and infer much more into their statements. There's really nothing to these remarks.
sounds like he's just thinking out loud. If the Orioles were doing their job right now this probably would have flown under the radar!

Personally, I think the Ravens are lighting a firecracker under Joe's butt. After watching Flacco for 2 years, I'm not sure he is the QB that will lead us to the promise land. I think the Ravens are pushing him.

I would expect the national media to try to drive a wedge through this team but its been the local media the last few months who seems to be trying to do so. Every little thing so far has been scrutinized. I guess this is what happens when you have what on paper looks like a Super Bowl contender. Tell all the other writers to give them a break and lets talk football.

Sometimes it's just best to keep ypur mouth shut. Hopefully Joe can learn something from this and learn that speaking your mind doesn't always turn out to be the best thing. L:ike others have said he needs to learn that this is a business. Bulger makes this a better football team. If he was here last year, perhaps Joe could have sat doen for a game or two with the bad hip and leg injuries that he had. The Ravens obviously did not have confidence that if he did take a seat that the team would be competitive. Thus, he had to play hurt and never got a chance to heal. This hurt him in the playoffs. The organization did he right thing by bringing in a quality, proven QB. This will help Joe in more ways than one. Does it suck that one of his teammates might get cut? Perhaps. But one of those guys waited until the most important part of the season last year to voice his displeasure with his team and tell everyone that he would "walk to Cleveland" to get what he wants. Maybe THAT played into this move as well. Think about that Joe.

I would like to call it overreaction. Waspman, could I have a signed copy of your novel?

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