Ravens safety Ed Reed raised some eyebrows during the playoffs when he was critical of quarterback Joe Flacco’s play in a victory over the Texans.
Reed accused Flacco of getting “rattled” by the Houston defense and said he thought Flacco didn’t have a grasp of the offense. A little firestorm bubbled up after Reed’s comments, but the two players put it to rest quickly and moved on to a close lose in the AFC Championship Game. Reed’s words lingered during the offseason as Flacco and the Ravens talked about a contract extension that some others believed was unwise given Flacco’s struggles at points in 2011.
Flacco hasn’t gotten a new contract, but he and his wife did welcome a son during the offseason. Reed thinks that life change has had a positive impact of the Baltimore quarterback.
“He has a lot more on his plate off the field. That makes you grow as a man. So, it makes you deal with things differently. It makes you lead in the locker room a lot differently,” Reed said, via Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. “If you sit around and talk with Joe, you know a lot more about him. You know he is a lot calmer and a lot cooler. We all get shaken at some times, that’s football, but Joe is going to always come back. He is a fighter. He is a guy that you want taking that snap at the end of the game leading your team to go into that final drive to win the game.”
One way that Flacco is leading differently, according to John Clayton of ESPN, is by being more assertive with the coaching staff about what he thinks the offense should be doing. Not surprisingly, the quarterback wants the team to be more aggressive throwing the ball. That would be a change from years past in Baltimore, but, according to Reed, they’ve got a different guy leading the offense this time around.