Flacco explains decision to not have off-site workouts this year

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The limited time players can spend working at the team facility in the offseason has prompted plenty of players on plenty of teams to find ways to get together on their own time.

For the Ravens, the spirit was willing in 2014, but the flesh decided it was impractical.

“The truth about it this offseason is that you couldn’t meet your coaches or anything like that and it’s a completely new offense,” quarterback Joe Flacco tells the Ravens in an interview touted on Twitter by the team as an exclusive!  (Great get!)  “I knew nothing about this offense besides what I could get from my playbook when they sent it to me. But I hadn’t spent any time with any coaches talking about this offense.”

He hadn’t spent any time with the coaches talking about the offense because the rules regarding the offseason prevent time from being spent between players and coaches before the start of the offseason program.  (Peyton Manning and Adam Gase think that’s cute.)  So with no guidance from new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, guys like Flacco and receiver Torrey Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta and receiver Jacoby Jones would have been largely wasting their time.

“It would have even been really tough for me to let guys know what to do, or what I wanted them to do because I wouldn’t have known what to do at that point,” Flacco said.

Flacco also pointed to the logistics of having to get everyone together at an off-site location, noting that it would be easier if the rules simply allowed players who wanted to work together at the team’s facilities in the early months of the offseason to do so.

“It would be easy if you could come in here [the Under Armour Performance Center] and do it, but because of the rules we’re not allowed to,” Flacco said.  “Everybody is in different directions.”

Curiously (or not), the comments selected by the Ravens’ website for highlighting in an article that hopefully would be picked up by independent media outlets mesh with a sentiment previously expressed by coach John Harbaugh.

“They want to go see their position coach,” Harbaugh said.  “They want to learn football.  It’s their craft. And we’re saying, ‘No, you can’t do it?’  Why?  Because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that makes no sense?  Because somebody wanted to get their little win here vs. their little win over there?  Get together and do what’s best for these players, and it’s about time that somebody stepped to the plate and realized that and [took] the politics out of it.”

His point continues to be valid, and now the team’s official website is pushing that same agenda via comments harvested in an exclusive! interview with the organization’s highest-paid employee.  While the method seems a little questionable, the result in this specific case would benefit plenty of teams — especially the ones honoring the rules that currently are on the books.

28 responses to “Flacco explains decision to not have off-site workouts this year

  1. The rules exists to ensure players have an offseason. Look at any thing else that is voluntary.

  2. Voluntary workouts are a slippery slope. Once you allow players to practice together this time of year, it will become frowned upon to not participate. Voluntary becomes recommended becomes required.

  3. Plenty of teams with new rookie qb’s and new offenses did this during the lockout with no problem. Lame excuse from Flacco and company and they should be called out for it.

  4. The limiting of offseason work was something the players wanted. They gave things up in the CBA to get it. Now players don’t want offseason work limited.

    These are college educated men.

  5. Translation: I have my money and my ring. I don’t care to be bothered in the offseason anymore.

  6. Huge Ravens Fan, Huge Flacco fan, that said, this sounds like an excuse. Slant patterns are slant patterns. Posts are posts, Fly’s are fly’s. Do some throwing and build some timing

  7. What he shudda said was: I signed for the big bucks last yr & no longer have to do the over & above stuff i did before!

  8. Good point raised. It would be to the player’s and team’s benefit if they were able to work with position coaches and coordinators when ever possible.

    It’s understandable why they set the rule up like they did however, look at all the players being singled out for not attending the “voluntary” OTAs.

  9. Both Jacoby Jones and Owen Daniels played in Gary Kubiaks offense in Houston, if they really wanted to get together, it wouldn’t have been that much if a waste of time as he say. Quite honestly it probably could of given the offense a jumpstart for what is to come.

  10. After watching this interview in it’s entirety I have come to the conclusion that Andy Dalton is still indeed 0-3 when it matters… even with a top 5 receiver… and a beast running back… and the 5th ranked defense. What’s funny though is that Joe Flacco has had all those things besides the top 5 receiver his whole career which just shows how bad Dalton really is. Dalton has single-handedly proven that no matter how much talent you have or how much fantasyland numbers you put up you still need a QB with the “it” factor to win. P.S. How’s your long off season going Rusty? Still trying to convince yourself that the 2nd and 3rd receivers are what’s holding Dalton back? Poor kid… LOL

  11. I understand that the NFLPA wants to make sure that teams can’t own every aspect of their players lives, but at the same time I think Flacco and Harbaugh make salient points here – the way the rules are currently structured inhibit teams from improving in the off-season. You would think that they could find a balance, seeing as how the NFL would like players to improve because that makes the on the field product better.

  12. When I think of Joe Flacco, I think of the mannequin in the store window. He’s just about as plastic. And vanilla. Only once did he come to life, and it earned him $20 million a year. The NFL ought to copyright its groupings of QB’s. Most Exciting. Most Promising. Toughest in the Clutch.
    Flacco and guys like Alex Smith would be poster boys for ‘Most Overrated.’

    7-9 looks good this year.

  13. At a minimum, it seems to me that there would be fewer injuries during the season if the players were under contract to attend during the off season supervised health education and appropriate workouts (yoga, weight lifting, massages, etc) to keep their bodies healthy the entire year.

    These men (and boys judging from much of the behavior) are making big bucks, so they should have obligations to their teams to be as healthy and fit as possible. Too many of the

  14. how is it possible for Peyton to be criticized for breaking the rules and Joe to be criticized for adhering to them. when did voluntary off season get togethers become mandatory.

  15. Don’t take Flacco’s words too literally here folks. There is clearly an agenda to get this issue on the front page. I’m sure Flacco would love to throw the ball around with the guys, but why do it anywhere else but the teams facility with access to the right equipment and staff?

  16. Joe did work out. A lot, with his brother, Mike, getting him prepared. Any other players could have joined in. This is a non-issue.

  17. how is it possible for Peyton to be criticized for breaking the rules and Joe to be criticized for adhering to them. when did voluntary off season get togethers become mandatory.

    There really is more Whine in Baltimore than in Napa Valley, but the Charm City vintage is improving with practice. Soo touchy about Jump Ball Joe.

  18. Scoobs people are not criticizing Joe for following the rules, simple that he has a lot of room to improve with his receivers. The season he had following the massive payday plus other Ravens issues, people want to see him take the extra step.

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