Ravens Joe Flacco Leading Workouts Despite Looming Remarks

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Alan Zlot:

According to NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes via USA Today’s Nate Davis, Joe Flacco may be a film nut, but some of his teammates are saying that the fourth year quarterback out of Delaware needs to put more time in.  Dukes said on NFL networks total access on Wednesday, “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.”

This is a shocking turn of events considering that Flacco is always studying film and working out in the gym.  I also wonder if the same players spewing the talk attended the three days of informal workouts this past week, organized by Flacco, Ray Rice and Derrick Mason.  On Tuesday, Flacco, Rice and Mason hit the field at Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University to hold the workouts with 24 other players.  There were 15 offensive and nine defensive players with three specialists at the workout. Each of three veterans took some of the new draft picks under their wings, so to speak.

Running back Anthony Allen, a seventh round selection out of Georgia Tech, was paired with Ravens Pro-Bowl running back, Ray Rice.  Allen seems ready to go as he and Rice have scheduled studying time together this offseason.

Anthony Allen

“I want to get in here and start studying,” Allen said. “It’s kind of like going into a test and studying the night before.”

Flacco pulled up to the campus with his students in tow, as wide receivers Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss along with quarterback Tyrod Taylor all piled out of Flacco’s pick-up truck with him.  The four players had spent the night on the Towson campus after Flacco organized a sleepover party, according the Baltimore Sun.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, a sixth round selection, has been working out in his hometown with Eagles quarterback and fellow Virginia Tech alum, Michael Vick.  Ravens player rep and wide receiver Derrick Mason worked with Baltimore’s second and fourth round selections.  Wide receiver’s Torrey Smith from Maryland and Tandon Doss from Indiana both had productive workouts.  Smith looked impressive running deep routes, out routes and middle routes. In fact, Smith caught every ball but one that was thrown to him.  When asked what he thought about his new weapons Flacco said of Doss, “From Tandon I saw a guy that can stay on the move and catch the ball well while staying on the move.  “He doesn’t need too much time to slow down,” Flacco said. “He can pluck balls out of the air.  “Torrey obviously has a lot of speed and also catches the ball well and can stretch the field vertically,” Flacco continued, “I’m excited about them.”

According to many on hand, Flacco and Smith appeared to get into sync very quickly. “It was weird knowing every time I looked back, there was the ball,” Smith said. “It’s a great feeling.”

Noticeably absent was, of course, the Ravens first round selection, cornerback Jimmy Smith. What, if anything, should be taken from Smith’s absence will need to be determined later.  It is important to note that Domonique Foxworth and Josh Wilson were there, and Wilson is a free agent who is potentially risking injury.  Other notable defensive players that attended were safety Haruki Nakamura, linebackers Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain.

Speaking to the local media about the absence of Jimmy Smith, Torrey Smith said, he had a conversation with him recently, and the cornerback was still in Los Angeles.  “I talked to him last week, but there weren’t as many defensive players as offensive players coming,” Torrey Smith said. “The guys he talked to said they weren’t coming.”  I did not realize that others players attendance were a necessity for Jimmy Smith to get a jump on his NFL career.  Nobody knows for sure if this is a sign of things to come but one thing is for sure, Jimmy Smith’s attendance would have gone a long way to bury all the pre-draft talk of his off-field issues.

I am also not sure how much water the Dukes comments about Flacco hold prior to or after this recent workout.  The situation should be monitored, but honestly, as a Ravens fan, I am more encouraged by what I saw this week with the time that Flacco did put in than the about the negative remarks from unnamed teammates.

This is the second time during the off-season that Flacco has held a workout session with some of his receivers. He also conducted a mini passing camp in Arizona earlier this offseason. Many in the organization wanted Flacco to be more vocal, he has done that this offseason, although not in an exactly positive way.

Delaware days

Ravens brass wanted more leadership from the Delaware product; well, this week proves that Flacco has taken the steps to do just that. It is possible that Flacco could never have stepped up and become the leader we all want him to be if he was the youngest player in the huddle.

That has changed with this year’s draft. Who knows, this may be exactly what Flacco needed to change his and the Ravens fortunes come January.


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