When Ray Lewis was asking his teammates if any dogs were in the house, Joe Flacco wondered what all the woofing was about.
For the second time this offseason, Flacco has said that while Lewis was a great player and teammate, the pregame speeches that were intended to fire up the locker room often left Flacco feeling more confused than anything else. In March, Flacco said Lewis used to lose him while addressing the team, and now in an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Flacco has said that as he takes more of a leadership role, he’s not leading the way Lewis did.
“That’s not me,” Flacco says. “I love Ray, and I love how he always spoke from the heart, but if you listened to those speeches, a lot of them didn’t even make sense. He meant everything he was saying, but I didn’t know what he was talking about 90 percent of the time.”
Flacco also said that the Ravens had grown too dependent on letting the Lewis-led defense win games, with the offense basically just being tasked with not losing.
“I don’t think they’d won more than one playoff game from the time they won the Super Bowl in 2000 to the time I got there. So we obviously needed to take another step,” Flacco said.
Flacco is right about that: After the 2000 Ravens won the Super Bowl, the 2001 Ravens won one playoff game, and then the Ravens didn’t win any more playoff games until Flacco arrived in the 2008 NFL draft. His arrival put the Ravens over the top, and he sounds confident that he can keep the Ravens on top, even without Lewis’s pregame speeches.