Ravens Entering Contract Talks with Flacco; Caldwell to Hone His Skills

In a story posted on NFL.com yesterday by Jason La Canfora, the Baltimore Ravens are looking to start hammering out a contract extension with quarterback Joe Flacco. Contract-extension talks are set to begin next week during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis between the team and Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta.

This is good news for the franchise as well as fans of the Ravens. Flacco, the former University of Delaware product, has established himself as one of the NFL’s best young up-and-coming quarterbacks. In his short four year carreer, Flacco has helped guide the Ravens to four playoff berths as well as two AFC championship games.

Although Flacco has only been with the team for a short time, he has brought one key element to the Ravens that they have lacked since their inception in 1996: stability. As the Ravens’ all-time passing leader with 13,816 yards and 80 touchdowns, Flacco should now be entering the prime of his career with most of his best football ahead of him. Locking up Flacco long-term is a great move by the Ravens and is a good sign of the support and the belief that the team has in the young quarterback. In an increasingly quarterback driven league, having the young stand-out under contract for years to come will allow the Ravens’ offense to grow and keep it’s continuity.

In a somewhat related story, follow along after the "Jump" to see what Ravens QB coach, Jim Caldwell, will do to help further improve Flacco.

A recent story posted on BaltimoreRavens.com gave extra insight as to why the Ravens chose their new quarterback coach, Jim Caldwell. In the story done by writer, Ryan Mink, Caldwell talks about his love of teaching and honing a quarterback’s fundamentals:

"Often times, I think people believe that once you get to this level that you shouldn’t work on this aspect of it (fundamentals). But the fact of the matter is, it’s when you need it most. Everything is so intricate, the windows are so small, the timing is so important. Timing and accuracy is key. Working with fundamentals to make sure those areas continue to improve is vital."

So for those who were wondering what else Caldwell had in store for Flacco, the answer is: it’s back to the basics.

I like and appreciate what Caldwell had to say on the importance of perfecting the small things, and I believe that what he said on the matter holds true for most everything in life. I, as a musician, had seen a fair amount of success and good opportunities come my way performing with amazing bands and orchestras all across the country, playing some of the most difficult music imaginable. Along the way, you start to lose touch with some of those basic, rudimentary skills you picked up all the way back in grade school. When I entered the California Institute of the Arts, my instructor knocked me back into the fundamentals all day, every day. As annoying and tedious as it might have been, those basic principles brought out the best in me and applied to each piece of music that I’ve ever played.

Though football and music are two separate things, I think the principle still stands: it’s the small things that make a difference.

The more Caldwell speaks, the more I like the move the Ravens made to hire him. With an increased focus on the mechanics and small intricacies of quarterback play, I expect that Flacco will look more refined and better than ever heading into the 2012 season.

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