Lions head coach Jim Caldwell spent last year as the offensive coordinator in Baltimore, where quarterback Joe Flacco turned in a disappointing season after signing a massive contract. But Caldwell says Flacco wasn’t as disappointing as he looked.
In fact, Caldwell says that Flacco made strides as a passer, even though he had a career-low passer rating.
“I still think he’s a talented guy, which he’s proven. He’s got skills and ability. Not every year is going to be a perfect year, and also guys can’t do it alone at that spot, either. But I do think he made progress. Sometimes it’s tough for you to see, just in terms of numbers — if you look at numbers strictly they can be a bit deceiving at times. But when you take a look from the inside, we had an opportunity to work with him day after day. He’s been improving by leaps and bounds each and every year, and I would anticipate that’s going to continue.”
Ravens fans have to hope the numbers are deceiving, because the numbers say Flacco is regressing, not improving: Flacco had 22 interceptions last season, 10 more than he’s ever had in any previous season of his career, while his 19 touchdowns were the fewest he’s thrown in any season since his rookie year. His passer rating of 73.1 was worse than that of mediocre quarterbacks like Kellen Clemens, Thad Lewis, Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin. This year, the Ravens need Flacco to make progress that we can see.