By now, football fans and experts alike should realize that Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco cannot be rattled. He’s been beat on physically on the field, and verbally through the media and public both nationally – and locally. Yet, Flacco continues to get back up, stay within himself and continues to remain cool about everything.
During the outer body experience of Super Bowl week, with having to deal with the best defense in the NFL in the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Flacco is still Flacco.
“Joe has been Joe,” said Ravens’ center Matt Birk. “He’s always the same, that’s the thing about him that you have to love. He’s not impressed by anything or anything that he does. Obviously he’s a hot topic this week but it doesn’t really affect him one way or the other. I really don’t think he cares too much.”
Flacco’s performance has been an awakening for many, but he’s been solid throughout his career as he developed each season. If Flacco would have hit more of his passes in stride, combined if receivers would have hauled in more of the Delaware grad’s well-thrown balls, Joe cool would been viewed in a much brighter light as an elite quarterback.
Flacco’s personality doesn’t create excitement from outside his locker room as he keeps the same game face whether winning or losing. However, Flacco is true to himself; and to those that manner to him.
“I don’t think he’s necessarily boring, but if you didn’t know him, he could definitely come off that way,” said Ravens’ wide receiver Torrey Smith. “Once you interact with him and see how he goes about his everyday life and see him in the locker room, he’s not boring at all. He’s very sarcastic. He’s pretty funny. He has a lot of personality, but if you just look at him under the helmet, he has the same facial expression and it comes off that way.”
Despite the glamour and lights of the Super Bowl, Flacco remained the same as much as he could. He recognized and embraced the experience. Yet Flacco managed to keep things normal and cool.
“It’s been fun. It’s good to kind of get back into a little bit of a normal schedule and get back to preparing for the game and things like that,” said Flacco. “It’s a little different from our normal schedule, but you have to try to find the things that you would normally do and just take comfort in knowing that you’re going to get to those things at some point. All of the stuff that surrounds the game is so big. The stuff that normally is involved week-to-week is just a lot bigger.”
What is normal for Flacco is football. Yes, the 49ers’ defense will pose a threat to stop the Ravens Sunday with their front seven. Nevertheless, the 49ers don’t pose anything that Flacco has not seen before as he face seasonal physical threats from his AFC North division. In such a cool way, Flacco knows what his team has to do offensively to combat against the tough Niners.
“They (the 49ers) are a physical group of guys,” said Flacco. “We have to make sure we play with speed and run our routes crisply and make sure that we’re ready to have some contested catches and go up there with strong hands like Anquan (Boldin) is used to. Everybody has to get on board with that and I think if we do that then we’ll have some success.
“I think the biggest thing that will get us off to a good start and be able to challenge those guys will be our offensive line doing a great job protecting and run blocking for our running backs,” he continued. “If they can start off good and kind of set the tone then we’ll be able to do what we want to and get to a little bit of the stuff that we think can throw (San Francisco) off a little bit. If not, it may be a tough day for us, but I think our offensive line has been doing a great job and if they can continue to do that then we’ll do what we want to be able to do.”