Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s bid for a new contract coming off a disappointing 2011 season has made his ability a consistent talking point this offseason.
Flacco weighed in with a confident assessment of his talent, Ron Jaworski of ESPN raved about his arm strength and now another TV talking head is weighing in with a glowing report on Flacco’s skills. Phil Simms, who called Flacco and the Ravens’ AFC Championship Game loss for CBS, thinks that too much is made of Flacco’s mediocre numbers because he plays in a run-first offense.
“It’s really amazing. Put Joe Flacco on a football team where it’s all about the quarterback and the offense and he will put up staggering numbers,” Simms said, via Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. “He plays for a coach that’s not worried about the glorification of his quarterback. Joe Flacco is a big part of them winning, but personal success and glory might elude him. He may only get it through victories. Even then, he might not get the credit that he deserves. I don’t think he’s good, I think he’s awesome. I know I’m right. I don’t need your stamp of approval.”
None of the positive reviews of Flacco’s ability have led to any movement on the contract front, something that might not change until the season gets underway. There’s plenty of evidence to support Simms and Jaworski’s reads on Flacco, but none of it alters the fact that his play took a sharp turn for the worse last season.
That’s not a strong negotiating position when you’re looking for elite quarterback money, no matter what Flacco’s skills might promise in the abstract. A strong start in 2012 would quiet some of the doubts about Flacco’s game and, in turn, some of the Ravens’ doubts about a long-term commitment.