Blog Entry

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

Posted on: May 30, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 4:40 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last week, NFL Network's Jamie Dukes spoke frankly about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.

"He still may have to work a little harder than he's working right now," Dukes said on Wednesday's Total Access. "There's no question he's a talented quarterback. But from what I hear coming out of that locker room, he studies but some say he might need to put a little more time in. That's what I hear."

Dukes' comments came nearly two months after Flacco first lobbied for a contract extension. "I think I've established myself," Flacco told the Baltimore Sun's Jamison Hensley at the time.

Dukes' accusation that Flacco "might need to put a little more time in" was news to Sun's blogger Matt Vensel, who writes that "Flacco is notorious for roaming the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills on off days and he has probably been at the facility shaking on doors during the lockout.

"He even organized a hotel sleepover party with Ravens rookies Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss and Tyrod Taylor on Monday night and drove them to Tuesday’s workout at Towson University."

Clearly, there is more to this story than Flacco's study habits. Before recommitting himself to being an upstanding human, Ben Roethlisberger had never been mistaken for Peyton Manning in the film room. He was supposedly aloof and not much of a locker room guy. The difference: he won two Super Bowls in his first five years in the NFL. The old cliche "winning fixes everything" fits here, and it's reasonable to believe that if the Ravens had managed to win it all during Flacco's first three years in the league we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

Remember, until Aaron Rodgers put the Packers on his back against the Steelers in the Super Bowl four months ago, most media stories were about his inability to "win it all." Never mind that he not only exceeded everyone's expectations when he took over for Brett Favre in 2008, but was a top-10 quarterback in's total value metric in each of his three seasons as a starter (and in '10, he ranked fourth behind Tom Brady, Manning and Philip Rivers). Yet, it took a championship to legitimize him in the eyes of the media.

Is it fair? Of course not. But it's not unexpected, either. It's part of the implicit pact you make: earn millions as an NFL quarterback with the understanding that you'll endure all that comes with it -- both on and off the field. For Rodgers, that meant stepping out of Favre's shadow and doing the impossible: replacing a legend and playing so well that fans forgot about No. 4.

Luckily, there isn't much of a quarterback track record in Baltimore. Former head coach Brian Billick made sure of that. But it doesn't mean expectations aren't high. Linebacker and de facto team leader Ray Lewis has been outspoken more than once in his 15-year career about the offense carrying its weight. And fans are even less forgiving, especially when two of the Ravens' playoff losses during Flacco's tenure have come at the hands of the hated division rival Steelers.

As is always the case, it's not enough to just implore the quarterback to play better and the offense will magically refashion itself into the 2007 Patriots. Flacco shares some of the blame, for sure, but the Ravens' offensive line struggled at times last season. According to, Flacco was blitzed on 50 percent of dropbacks (second in the NFL behind only Bruce Gradkowski of the Raiders), pressured on a third of those blitzes, sacked 24 percent of the time, and completed just 47 percent of his passes.

Not Pro Bowl numbers, but about average, which is what one-time Ravens QB of the future Kyle Boller aspired to. (Again citing, Flacco ranked 11th in total value among all NFL quarterbacks in 2010.)

Either way, defenses went after Flacco because they identified a weakness in the blocking scheme, felt that Flacco didn't respond well to pressure, or some combination of the two. The remedy requires more than Flacco improving his study habits, as Dukes suggest. The pass-blocking has to improve, the receivers have to run better routes, and ultimately, Flacco has to limit his mistakes. But one without the others is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. 

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 3:36 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

My husband and i with the idea web-site. We will no doubt be more peeping in as a rule.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 2:36 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:47 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:27 am
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Since: Aug 9, 2009
Posted on: May 31, 2011 1:12 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

If Joe really wasn't putting in the time im sure there are numerous veterans that would have had words with him and make sure he's pulling his weight. Once again its a case of a report by a reporter where he states he heard something. He probably made it all up. Sounds like Dukes is just attempting to stir the pot and see what comes up.

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: May 30, 2011 8:12 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

Since the NFL Network cancelled his show "Put Up Your Dukes", Jamie Dukes I guess trying to "reinvent himself". But I rather listen to Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe myself. If Joe Flacco had at least two to three Jonathan Ogden-caliber type of linemen, this would be a non-issue.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: May 30, 2011 6:12 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

As a former college student (I graduated within the past year) I was often told "Don't study smarter". I suggest that Joe Flacco study smarter instead of harder.

As for Dukes..I heard that he is hard to get along with and is very demanding. People also say that he always wants the last piece of dessert. I don't know if that's true. But that's what I hear.

See Dukes...just because you "hear" things does not mean that it's true.

In the interest of full disclosure I did not personally hear any of the things I had written about Dukes. I just made it up. Which begs the question....

is Jamie Dukes making stuff up about Joe Flacco so he can get people to read his work? Dukes does not quote any sources to support his story. If I only learned one thing in college that is to quote your sources when you are writing a story. How else does the reader know if you are making stuff up or what you have written is true.

Since: May 14, 2011
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:33 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

I agree with Jamie Dukes. Flacco is a talented QB.His biggest problem as  a QB is his horrible INTS in playoff games. His game almost always seems to slip into a kind of comatose state. He  is NOT an elite QB-yet.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:21 pm

Analyst says Flacco needs to work harder

I think Jamie Dukes is a complete idiot and can't stand hearing him spew off on subjects that he knows nothing about, but puts himself off as some type of real NFL insider. Give me a break! 

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