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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.’ 🙂

  7. 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!)

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. …. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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

  26. So by making a ton of mistakes, he improved?

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.”

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. “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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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..

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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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