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Jim Caldwell: Joe Flacco made progress, even if you couldn’t see it

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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.

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88 Responses to “Jim Caldwell: Joe Flacco made progress, even if you couldn’t see it”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 20, 2014 12:51 PM

    I don’t buy anything that anybody from the Ravens has to say right now, just a very minor pet peeve I have at the moment.

  2. sbchampsagain says: Feb 20, 2014 12:52 PM

    Ravens fans knew that too.

    No WRs, an injured TE, injured Olinemen, and 2 injured RBs would spell disaster for any QB.

    Flacco and Ozzie will be fine now that everyone is healthy and the Ravens are $18M under the salary cap.

  3. sarcasm says: Feb 20, 2014 12:53 PM

    Those poor Lions fans.

  4. grantsbuds says: Feb 20, 2014 12:55 PM

    Calling that group mediocre is RLY nice.

  5. thebirdofprey2 says: Feb 20, 2014 12:57 PM

    I will give Flacco credit for having one of the best playoff runs of any QB in history- it got him paid that crazy contract.

    Watching him play, he is your middle of the pack QB. This is not me trying to take shots at Ravens fans but if you think of starting QB’s and their regular season numbers the last few years- Is Joe Flacco even top 15?

  6. bucrightoff says: Feb 20, 2014 12:58 PM

    Joe is what he is, a guy who can win you a Super Bowl if everything else is in place. But he’s barely a top-15 QB, if that. And certainly horribly overpaid at $20 million per. If Joe Flacco is worth $20 million per than Manning and Rodgers are worth $100 million per.

  7. itssocoldinthed says: Feb 20, 2014 12:58 PM

    I swear Thad Lewis is not mediocre, he need to get an opportunity on teams with better pieces around him and he will shine.

    Signed,

    Not a Browns or Bills fan

  8. ingraven says: Feb 20, 2014 1:01 PM

    Yes. Flacco sucked last year. But it’s because he was trying to do EVERYTHING on offense since he really had no help. No running game, no offensive line, no separation of receivers from dbs, no reliable tight end for most of the year. And we still only lost 2 games by more than 1 score. Amazing.

  9. tjacks7 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:01 PM

    .. And assuming you didn’t watch him play. Jim Caldwell sounds as clueless as he looks on Sundays.

  10. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Feb 20, 2014 1:02 PM

    If Joe Flacco lined up 1 on 11 against the Minnesota vikings – he would win 84-0.

    This has nothing to do with Flacco being good – it’s more about how bad the vikings suck.

  11. obsession55 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:05 PM

    WORST. COACH. EVER

  12. discountdoublecheck says: Feb 20, 2014 1:06 PM

    ‘even if you couldn’t see it.’

    Sadly, I could neither see, smell, hear, taste or touch it.

  13. Pittsburgh Sports Daily Bulletin says: Feb 20, 2014 1:06 PM

    This is what happens with no Boldin to bail you out on jump ball passes.

  14. ravanator says: Feb 20, 2014 1:07 PM

    We will draft or sign a true number one reciever. That is all Joe”Montana”Flacco needs to return to his superior play that lead us to a Super Bowl victory. All other teams should aim for second place next season, Ravens will be champs once again.

    #ravensnationleader
    #ravensdynasty

  15. GenoAtkinswillnotbestopped says: Feb 20, 2014 1:09 PM

    He did. He progressed from 28 to 29.

  16. kevo95 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:10 PM

    Flacco is a joke he sucks

  17. drsportsjock says: Feb 20, 2014 1:11 PM

    I weep for Omar Little’s Baltimore

  18. kneelbeforesod says: Feb 20, 2014 1:13 PM

    Made progress, even if you couldn’t see it?

    I’m borrowing that for my next evaluation.

  19. doe22us says: Feb 20, 2014 1:13 PM

    Flacco sucks, and the Lions are in trouble.

  20. therealraider says: Feb 20, 2014 1:15 PM

    Just like how Reggie McKenzie said the Raiders improved from 4-12 in 2012 to 4-12 in 2013 ?

  21. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 20, 2014 1:15 PM

    Yeah, but of course. (No mock on the Ravens or Flacco mind you).

    I can see Caldwell saying ‘I built the Lions into a dynasty and we won 4 Super Bowls in a row. You just couldn’t see it.’ :)

  22. rubenxx7 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    Jim Caldwell is a complete idiot!!!!

  23. ianwetpantscom says: Feb 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    Jim Caldwell regressed and you could see it.

    #justsay’n

  24. kwjsb says: Feb 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    “Jim Caldwell: Joe Flacco made progress, even if you couldn’t see it”

    Nice, just like the economy.

  25. floratiotime says: Feb 20, 2014 1:18 PM

    $20,000,000 worth of progress.

  26. micknangold says: Feb 20, 2014 1:19 PM

    He’s honestly just not that good. Last year was the exception, not the rule, as to what you can expect out of him on a yearly basis. But the fact is he’s grossly overpaid. Not that the Ravens had a choice. He’s a 2nd tier QB getting paid like a league MVP because he got hot in the playoffs. Eli Manning 2.0 (at least Manning did it twice!)

  27. unlimitedcriticism says: Feb 20, 2014 1:19 PM

    By the way, since when is “progress” acceptable from a guy who is being paid superstar money? Shouldn’t the “progress” have been made and demonstrated BEFORE signing that contract?

  28. thevikesarebest says: Feb 20, 2014 1:20 PM

    The V I kings>your franchise.SKOL

  29. backdapack4evr says: Feb 20, 2014 1:23 PM

    Over-paid…

  30. ravensdominate says: Feb 20, 2014 1:23 PM

    Super Bowl MVP!!! Hate on haters!!!

  31. thethunderofgunns says: Feb 20, 2014 1:24 PM

    Detroit — ‘Head Coach’ Jim Caldwell is set to rename the Detroit Lions to the Detroit Puddy Kittens so as not to offend real lions.

  32. jamaltimore says: Feb 20, 2014 1:30 PM

    Joe Flacco is the Best Baltimore Raven QB EVER and he has done nothing but produce victories for the Ravens, 3 afc championship appearances, one superbowl win and superbowl MVP.

    He doesn’t care what clueless Caldwell says or anyone else for that matter. He’s looking forward to collecting his 14.6 million this year and leading the Ravens back to the playoffs again for another run to the Superbowl.

    Can’t wait to see the progress Matt Stafford makes this year. Caldwell will really see what it feels like to work with an overrated choking QB.

  33. hlna55 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:30 PM

    Most expensive “developing” QB in he history of the league. Said this once and I will say it again. In the year that got him paid, he had worse numbers than Kyle Orton did in Denver in his last year as a starting QB in the NFL.

  34. thebrownswillalwaysloose says: Feb 20, 2014 1:31 PM

    Well, it’s certainly “tool time” round here.
    No matter what he does (even though he’s already done it) people are gonna hate.

    I’ll take a guy who can have one of the best post-season (of any QB in history) and win Super Bowls over the guys (cough cough, Romo, Peyton, Ryan) who put up pretty numbers every year.

    Yeah, Peyton Manning got a ring but against Rex Grossman?! Please!

  35. schmitty2 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:31 PM

    What Caldwell should’ve said was “As OC I made no progress and everyone could see it”

  36. ingraven says: Feb 20, 2014 1:35 PM

    Funny how people will complain about Flacco’s contract and that he’s overpaid. But they don’t talk about guy like Matt Ryan & Tony Romo, who are allergic to winning, especially when it counts most(playoffs), and what’s getting ready to be Kaepernick & C.Newton as well. You’ll quickly realize that you have to pay for a franchise QB. The Seahawks are the only exception right now since they drafted him in the 3rd round.

  37. puntonfirstdown says: Feb 20, 2014 1:35 PM

    Kudos to Flacco for suckering the Ravens into that astronomically overpaid contract deal. The guy is a second-stringer at best anywhere else.

  38. purpleguy says: Feb 20, 2014 1:36 PM

    Vikings, Packers and Bears fans can only hope Stafford makes the same progress in 2014.

  39. bengaliballer says: Feb 20, 2014 1:39 PM

    doesn’t matter, won superbowl

  40. shaggytoodle says: Feb 20, 2014 1:41 PM

    Regress is the word I think he was looking for.

    Flacco benefited from a great defense, he doesn’t make players around him better, they Ravens got lucky a few times with 4th and forever and that awful Bronco secondary.

  41. coachgutz says: Feb 20, 2014 1:43 PM

    With statements like that from Caldwell, my confidence for any Lions improvement is lower than it ever was. Cocentrate, your the LIONS head coach. Ravens are in your past. Do you have any NEW ideas!

  42. siggtacular says: Feb 20, 2014 1:43 PM

    …. But Flacco is still a Super Bowl MVP though… What do you say now Browns and Bengals fans??? Vikings? Eagles? Bills? Lions? Panthers? Chargers? Texans? Come on guys where are your Super Bowls ???

    Joe Flacco has a Super Bowl ring. That will never change. He’s already completed his ultimate goal.

  43. backdapack4evr says: Feb 20, 2014 1:48 PM

    Joe Flacco is known as a one hit wonder of sports

  44. cbass59 says: Feb 20, 2014 1:48 PM

    If you don’t count the record number of interceptions and overthrown passes, I agree.

  45. weepingjebus says: Feb 20, 2014 1:50 PM

    Jump Ball Joe. You’ll know the Ravens scouts at the Combine, they’ll be the ones packed in like sardines round the vertical leap test.

  46. ✦ Pittsburgh is the City of Champions ✦ says: Feb 20, 2014 2:01 PM

    We have six rings.

  47. SmashMouthFootball says: Feb 20, 2014 2:03 PM

    He’s not perfect but he’s clutch. I’ll take him over many QBs who seem to fold under pressure even with league best receivers and backs. Flacco or Romo, Ryan, Cutler, Stafford, Eli Manning, etc.

  48. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 20, 2014 2:05 PM

    When you make a QB one of the highest paid of all time… you’re typically not looking for “progress”…

  49. 8to80texansblog says: Feb 20, 2014 2:08 PM

    And to be honest…. anybody could see that Jacoby deserved the SB MVP….

  50. ravensterps says: Feb 20, 2014 2:11 PM

    When Flacco wins his next Super Bowl, Ravens fans will still be laughing at all the hate, just like we were laughing at the people who said he could never win one.

  51. theuglitruth says: Feb 20, 2014 2:18 PM

    Ozzie is slipping…spent multiple picks to get Art Brown and totaled 15 tackles. It’s never good when the HC says “Art is a guy who’s learning a lot of football” after spending those multiple picks for him in the second round.

  52. dbfan4ever says: Feb 20, 2014 2:23 PM

    so his INTs were Staffordesque but he didn’t have anobody near Megatron status to throw the ball to. What is Stafford’s excuse?

  53. tvjules says: Feb 20, 2014 2:27 PM

    As a Colts fan, the best thing about his pitiful coaching was…
    It got us Andrew Luck.

  54. petehimself2112 says: Feb 20, 2014 2:47 PM

    8 wins in your worst year sound great now factor in no time and no help……ppl don’t realize you don’t judge QBs on their stats otherwise we would call ROMO a top 3 QB.

  55. hlna55 says: Feb 20, 2014 2:55 PM

    To all those claiming that Joe flaccid had no one to throw to… I thought OZ was GOD!!

  56. steelcurtainn says: Feb 20, 2014 2:59 PM

    He sure did make progress. Was it the 22 picks he threw, the 19 tds, or maybe it was the 59 percent completion percentage. I know it was the 73.1 qb rating. Sounds like progress to me.

  57. stainlessstill says: Feb 20, 2014 3:07 PM

    We couldn’t see it because he only got worse. Without jumpballers like Boldin not coming down with his hailmarry’s or everyone of those hailmarry’s not getting every yellow flag on the play 70 yards downfield, Flacco showed he’s a top…20 QB at best.

  58. guitarkevin says: Feb 20, 2014 3:20 PM

    For everyone that makes a hate comment on Flacco, I now require you to include the QB of your team as reference.

  59. 23rdusernameused says: Feb 20, 2014 3:21 PM

    progressed for sure, in his total INT’s!!

    WORST
    EXTENSION
    EVER
    EVER

    EVER!!!!!

    Nice one Ozzie… NOT!!!!

  60. ravensdominate says: Feb 20, 2014 3:35 PM

    People hate on Flacco like the poor hate on the wealthy… Wait a minute….

  61. thestatsishere says: Feb 20, 2014 3:51 PM

    So by making a ton of mistakes, he improved?

    I’ll believe that when I see that he LEARNED from his mistakes. Not before.

  62. oopsileftthekitchen says: Feb 20, 2014 4:17 PM

    Joe Flacco made about as much progress as Lebron James’ hairline.

  63. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 20, 2014 4:20 PM

    must be that new math.

  64. craigkintexas says: Feb 20, 2014 4:31 PM

    A one trick pony.

  65. Joemontanaflacco says: Feb 20, 2014 4:39 PM

    Flacco will prove how elite he is when he leads the Ravens to SB XLIX. Unless he has another 8-8 season in which case he’ll be in the running for the “Ben Roethlisbooger – Four Straight Years of Disappointment” Award.

  66. enoughofthatalready says: Feb 20, 2014 4:41 PM

    The last paragraph says it all and warrants no further discussion.

    “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.”

  67. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 20, 2014 4:46 PM

    Something tells me he’ll “progress” even more without the Rice-Checkdown in the playbook next year.

  68. jmblosser82 says: Feb 20, 2014 4:54 PM

    Players make Flacco better not the other way around.

  69. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 20, 2014 5:02 PM

    I agree with Caldwell. In fact, they should sign Flacco to another extension and more money.

  70. nflfollower says: Feb 20, 2014 5:14 PM

    Sadly, he already sounds like a Lion’s coach.

  71. ravenswhat says: Feb 20, 2014 5:23 PM

    I love how people dump on Flacco. Very few qbs have won more big games than he has in the past 6 years.

    No, he doesn’t have the stats of your avg gunslinger like stafford or Ryan or rivers but he doesn’t have their pathetic playoff record either.

  72. stainlessstill says: Feb 20, 2014 5:47 PM

    People hate on Flacco for the sole purpose of owning one of the most insulting contracts by one of the most inconsistent, mediocre QB’s not named Mark Sanchez is concerned. Flacco is proof this league is as backwards as it gets and good QB’s who actually deserve the money they command have this clown’s contract to look up at. But make no mistake about it, there’s NO other QB I’d rather face than Flacco and I couldn’t be more happier that Ozzie has tied down Baltimore’s franchise to this Trent Dilfer wannabe.

  73. tvjules says: Feb 20, 2014 6:00 PM

    Jim Caldwell is as delusional as Jerry Jones.

  74. baltimoresnativeson says: Feb 20, 2014 6:45 PM

    “This is what happens with no Boldin to bail you out on jump ball passes.”

    Kap had Boldin to bail him out and a great defense and running game, and still didnt win squat.

    Gotta make the plays when they count buddy.

    Oh and the Ravens D was ranked 17th the superbowl year.

    They paid him because he performs well under pressure. Thats really what it boils down to.

  75. baltimoresnativeson says: Feb 20, 2014 6:48 PM

    Also….

    Ravens were up 14-3 thanks to 2 td passes by Flacco before Jacoby even touched the ball.

    The blowout was already on because of # 5.

    Right person got the MVP.

    NEXT!!

  76. jmblosser82 says: Feb 20, 2014 7:27 PM

    Joe did squat the entire second half. Boldin and Jones with a dash if Pitta are who made the plays. Boldin or Jobes were more deserving of MVP then Flacco.

  77. jmblosser82 says: Feb 20, 2014 7:33 PM

    Also, Joe road to the playoffs on a stingy early on. Then in 2012 they stumbled into the playoffs, Lewis announced he was going to retire and the defense rise to the occasion. They may have been a middle of the pack defense in the regular season but no one was better in the playoffs except for maybe the 9ers.

  78. SmashMouthFootball says: Feb 20, 2014 8:05 PM

    But if the situation were reversed and it was Ben instead of Flacco in the 2012 post season with the same results and the MVP would you be making the same claims?

    Of course not. Because you will state that Ben led the Steelers to two super bowls despite the reality that he tried his best to lose them.

  79. steelerfanforlife says: Feb 20, 2014 9:49 PM

    He made progress in sucking at being an NFL quarterback so I guess Caldwell was kinda right.

  80. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 21, 2014 9:35 PM

    Hey if Caldwell said it, it must be true, because as we all know, it was only because of Cam that Flacco stunk! And once he was free of Cam he was free to spread his tiny wings and fly, free, fly!

    Oh wait, I forgot. Last year Joe posted his LOWEST NUMBERS EVER! Uh oh. So much for the Cam-held-Joe-back theory.

    Yeah, Jim, posting your LOWEST NUMBERS EVER is a sure sign of “progress.”

    Baltimore: where night is day, and black is white.

  81. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 21, 2014 9:42 PM

    Jim is right: I COULDN’T see any progress.

  82. stateofthesport says: Feb 21, 2014 10:31 PM

    Isnt he the Quarterback that needed no lesson’s cause he was that great?? Or was that R,G,me listen both these quarterback’s could alway’s brush up, i was reading somewhere that Brady, Manning(Peyton), and the better quarterback’s have a coach or trainer,,it’s too bad for there fan’s these guy’s were not more humble to take some lesson’s…just saying..

  83. jimmyjames65 says: Feb 22, 2014 12:08 PM

    For all of the idiots who don’t understand plain English. Flacco had the Ravens at 8-6 before he was cheap-shot by a Lions player with a very pourous offensive line and running game. Little offensive weapons to throw to. And a defense that got younger and will improve. Guys Like Matt Elam, Marlon and Arthur Brown will only get better. Ravens will be in the playoffs again. With or without Ray Rice.

  84. jimmyjames65 says: Feb 22, 2014 12:10 PM

    Another draft coming up. I’m sure Ozzie will plug holes.

  85. jimmyjames65 says: Feb 22, 2014 12:15 PM

    If the whiners had Flacco at QB, with that O-line and defense. Boldin and Vernon Davis. They would have beaten the Seahawks and destroyed over-rated Manning in the SB. That’s a fact. I’d bet that Flacco will win another SB before Manning or whiners do.

  86. jimmyjames65 says: Feb 22, 2014 12:28 PM

    I wonder if Harbaugh is worried about his job with Kubiak at O.C.?

  87. jimmyjames65 says: Feb 22, 2014 12:29 PM

    Sometimes it’s good to light fire under a$$es.

  88. ampatsisahypocrite says: Feb 22, 2014 11:00 PM

    jimmyjames65 says:
    Feb 22, 2014 12:08 PM
    For all of the idiots who don’t understand plain English. Flacco had the Ravens at 8-6 before he was cheap-shot by a Lions player with a very pourous offensive line and running game.
    ———————————————

    Funny how Flacco always gets credit for the hardships, but never the gifts. Understand THIS: Flacco lost the game to the Vikings with that last-second pick, but had it miraculously called back on the WORST excuse for a pass-interference call of the entire season. There’s no way Baltimore had any business getting that call, or the win. They should’ve been 6-7 then, rather than 7-6.

    And why do they always cry about the hardships like the “porous line” but never the gifts, like how many times Jones ran back touchdowns to bail Flacco out (like when he faded in the second half of the Super Bowl)? Amazing.

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