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  1. #1
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    Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.



    For those who may not want to hear this, I will preface this by saying that this will indeed be a thread defending Joe Flacco. I don't think anyone would expect anything else from me.

    Today, like others, I have been watching highlights from 2012 and years prior, as well as 2014 highlights. I will admit that there is somewhat of a difference between Flacco then and Flacco now. The most noticeable difference to me is confidence. Today, I still see Joe make the type of throws that impress you. However, I do not see him make them as consistently. I also see that his movement in the pocket is not as crisp and that too has become more inconsistent. These are things that guys such as BT and myself, among others, definitely see and do not deny. What I like to dig into is, why these things are happening.

    Now, while Flacco may not make those throws as consistently now, he still makes a good deal of those throws. The biggest difference between now and then is that, while they were never great or even the most consistent at doing this, the pass catchers did a better job at catching the ball. Even back then, the most you saw was Anquan Boldin elevate over a DB to catch a pass. Even in many of those cases, Flacco did a good job of putting the ball up high and away from the defender. Outside of that, you didn't see any spectacular catches to help out the QB, but maybe once in a blue moon if that. Despite the reality that Joe Flacco never had a top 10 collection of pass catching talent (Not even the year he led the team to the Super Bowl), the group of pass catchers he had back then was embarrassingly superior to the group he has had the past few seasons.

    Watching these highlights, we can act like there has been a major change in Joe all we want. The biggest different, in reality, is that back then guys more often caught those passes. Whereas now, they drop them far more than they even did back then. Dennis Pitta was an above average TE who ran good routes and caught the ball consistently. He didn't break tackles. He didn't break away from defenders. He just did his job. To us, however, that was so rare from our pass catchers, that we elevated our opinions of Dennis Pitta as a result. If you look at this team now, the Dennis Pitta from back then is better than our entire current group of pass catchers. Think about that. That is how far the talent has fallen.

    As a fan, it bothers me when this false narrative is spread about Flacco carrying the team back then, but being unable to do so now. The implication in this is that there are other Quarterbacks who has successfully carried their teams, turning silver to gold. One problem in this thinking is that Joe Flacco doesn't even have silver right now. Another problem in this thinking is that someone like a Tom Brady would make these players into decent pass catchers. Let's actually review how the Patriots have handled their pass catchers. When the team was first winning Super Bowls, they were doing so with defense. Tom Brady was asked to manage the game, not turn the ball over and make a few clutch throws. He had pass catchers to accomplish that, such as Troy Brown. Eventually, that defense aged. Brady was asked to do more and it seemed that he was more than capable. However, there was one problem: He didn't have good pieces around him. By 2006, Troy Brown aged and Deion Branch was traded. New England still saw success during the 2006 season, but eventually lost to Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game in one of the more memorable comebacks in playoff history. An aging defense was one reason that comeback was made possible. Dean Pees was another. Peyton Manning finally getting the Patriots in the dome was another. However, there is one not often mentioned. New England's pass catchers dropped the ball in that game. Reche Caldwell personally dropped two of the easiest TD passes you will ever see. One where he would have scored and another where he could have walked in.

    Contrary to popular belief, Tom Brady was not able to make them much better than they were. Which is why during the 2007 off-season, the Patriots signed Wes Welker from Miami and traded for Randy Moss. To help solidify the talent around Brady, they continued to plug away at signing FA pass catchers and even using high draft picks on them. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (Okay, Hernandez was a mid-round pick) were both drafted with Moss and Welker still helping the team put up big numbers. When Welker's concussions began adding up, they added one and then two similar players to the roster. Since then, they've even traded a first round pick for Brandin Cooks. If Tom Brady really could turn water to wine, Belichick would not feel the need to do this. The idea that QBs make porous pass catchers into noticeably good talent is a fallacy.

    People look to some of the late round and Undrafted talent that the Patriots have had success with, without looking at the context. New England has been operating under the same offensive system for over 15 years. They've done a great job of changing the schemes they use within that system, to match the talent they have at the time. Thus, they have been able to identify specific roles in the offense and what they specifically need from that player. That's not making the talent better. That's correctly identifying the talent that you need. The role that someone like a Julian Edelman has in New England is a role that the vast majority of teams in the league don't have in their offense. It's also a role that is the only one he can be successful at, which is why he lasts until the seventh round of the draft.

    To bring this back to Flacco, while I can understand fan frustration to a degree, it makes me shake my head when people talk about how he carried the team during the Super Bowl and hasn't played up to his contract since. He didn't earn that contract throwing to Breshad Perriman and Jeremy Maclin. He didn't earn that contract with the offensive line situations that have faced the team the past few years.

    There is not a Quarterback in this league who has dealt with talent that poor and made them decent. None. Not Roethlisberger, not Rodgers, not Brady and not even Drew Brees. If Drew Brees could turn water into wine and truly carry his team they wouldn't have been 7-9 for that many years. However, he can't. There are 11 players on one side of the ball and 22 starters when you put the two together. This isn't the NBA where Allen Iverson can not only lead the 76ers (Eric Snow, smh, please..........) to the Finals, but win a game against the Lakers. These pieces play a significant role. He can be the main reason WHY they win, but this idea that he can successfully carry a team of nobodies on his back is a falsehood. Especially, without quality offensive coaching and structure.

    Why did Joe Flacco play with more confidence back then, particularly during the Super Bowl run? Everyone's role was defined and he, at the very least, knew what he had. Now, we've seen Maclin run the wrong route and even give up on some. We've seen Perriman run the wrong routes. We've seen Wallace run bad routes. The only guy he can rely to even do his job is the Tight End with one foot out of the door, God bless him.

    Another thing that I think fans wholly underestimate is the impact of high quality coaching and structure. Tom Brady has been in the same system under the same tutelage his entire career. Ben Roethlisberger has not only only been in two systems his entire career, he's only been in two schemes. Years with Arians, followed by years with Haley. Stability and high quality coaching. Haley may not have the social skills to be a good Head Coach, but the man knows offense. Aaron Rodgers has been in the same system his entire career, with few changes to the scheme. Drew Brees has been in the same system his entire career, even from San Diego to New Orleans, which is one reason why Payton wanted him.

    Same system, same tutelage, for years, and years, and years. Yet, there are still people who believe that the man who somehow managed to lead the team to the title, in spite of poor offensive coaching, could never reach the heights that those QBs have reached. That he still should be close to their level, because he's being paid like that. It's not that simple and sometimes I wonder if the Baltimore fanbase became so detached from true offense that they don't even know the first thing about structuring or developing a high quality one. None of those teams said, 'Okay, we paid you now go turn water into wine'. They said, 'We paid you, now what do you need around you?'. That is a MAJOR difference and is not to be understated. If Drew Brees starts falling into bad technique habits and throwing picks, he has long had Joe Lombardi there to meet him on the sideline and say, 'Drew, you're falling into that bad side-step again, keep your composure and get it under control and you can do this thing'. That matters A LOT. In any sport, you need that constant teaching.

    Looking at New Orleans, New England, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, here are some of the things they have in common:

    They prioritize offense
    They focus their offensive system around the QB and his skillset
    They continuously make great efforts to surround said QB with high quality talent


    Here?:
    They prioritize defense
    They focus their offensive system around we don't even know anymore, and the run at best
    They leave our QB with trash

    Those aren't marginal differences people. Those aren't 'Well you're still being paid XX million dollars so you should be playing this way or that way' differences.

    I've said it before and I will say it again, if the day comes that Flacco is somehow surrounded by Atlanta, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh type talent and still plays the way he plays now, then I would be first in line to call him out. Until then, I'm sticking by my Quarterback.
    Last edited by The Excellector; 01-12-2018 at 05:43 PM.
    "Please take with you this final sword, The Excellector. I am praying that your journey will be guided by the light", Leon Shore





  2. #2

    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    This whole post is the same thing that's already been barked all year by Flacco defenders.

    "Flacco is good but the receivers suck and can't catch plus we focus too much on defense."

    I think everyone can agree with that. We all saw the 2017 draft. But those that venture far beyond the outskirts of homerism also know that Flacco is not that great himself. Inconsistency is not a good thing and that's plagued him his whole career besides that wonderful postseason run. I thought coming off of that superbowl victory, that was gonna be the Joe we were gonna look forward to from that day forward. That confidence and swagger. I was ready for him to have the best year of his career and so far it's been anything but that.





  3. #3
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Culex View Post
    This whole post is the same thing that's already been barked all year by Flacco defenders.

    "Flacco is good but the receivers suck and can't catch plus we focus too much on defense."

    I think everyone can agree with that. We all saw the 2017 draft. But those that venture far beyond the outskirts of homerism also know that Flacco is not that great himself. Inconsistency is not a good thing and that's plagued him his whole career besides that wonderful postseason run. I thought coming off of that superbowl victory, that was gonna be the Joe we were gonna look forward to from that day forward. That confidence and swagger. I was ready for him to have the best year of his career and so far it's been anything but that.
    Did you not read my explanation for the recent lack thereof?
    "Please take with you this final sword, The Excellector. I am praying that your journey will be guided by the light", Leon Shore





  4. #4
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    We have a franchise QB who has been plagued by inconsistency? Damn we should have given him some pass catchers to mask those flaws.
    ďItís not whether you get knocked down; itís whether you get up.Ē
    Ė Vince Lombardi

    http://russellstreetreport.com/author/cole_jackson/

    Twitter: @ColeJacksonRSR





  5. #5

    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    You two could just text each other and spare the board.

    Flacco isnít close to as good as Ex thinks or close to as bad as Culex says.

    We donít need a new Flacco thread every 3 Days.





  6. Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    I cant remember Flacco ever just dropping one in the basket. He has zero touch to his passer. He hardly ever throws his passes in stride.





  7. #7
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBLTRaven View Post
    I cant remember Flacco ever just dropping one in the basket. He has zero touch to his passer. He hardly ever throws his passes in stride.
    Totally bro.

    He has never ever thrown even one good pass.

    Every pass is horrible.

    10 straight years of garbage.

    Couldn't hit a barn.

    Never ever never thrown a good pass.

    Never.

    Not ever.





  8. #8
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorthRaven View Post
    We have a franchise QB who has been plagued by inconsistency? Damn we should have given him some pass catchers to mask those flaws.
    You know what else is inconsistent?

    Swapping 30 year old WRs every 2 seasons as your primary wr.

    Meanwhile guys like ben and Ryan get the same elite wr year after year after year.

    But no one wants to hear any of this right?





  9. #9

    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caps&Ravens View Post
    You two could just text each other and spare the board.

    Flacco isnít close to as good as Ex thinks or close to as bad as Culex says.

    We donít need a new Flacco thread every 3 Days.
    Itís gonna be more from here on out during the off-season so get used to it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk





  10. #10
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggy Supreme View Post
    Itís gonna be more from here on out during the off-season so get used to it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    May have to hangout in the draft thread Jig. These threads are gonna become repeats.
    ďItís not whether you get knocked down; itís whether you get up.Ē
    Ė Vince Lombardi

    http://russellstreetreport.com/author/cole_jackson/

    Twitter: @ColeJacksonRSR





  11. #11

    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorthRaven View Post
    May have to hangout in the draft thread Jig. These threads are gonna become repeats.
    Pretty much bro. Iím already used to it so it doesnít bother me as much anymore.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk





  12. #12
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    Re: Joe Flacco then and Joe Flacco now.

    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorthRaven View Post
    May have to hangout in the draft thread Jig. These threads are gonna become repeats.
    Which new wr will flacco ruin next?





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