LANDOVER MD - AUGUST 21: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up before the preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 21 2010 in Landover Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
So far this off season Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco has been steadily improving, just as he has done each year since he was drafted by Baltimore in the first round
Last season Joe was given a receiving core of two second year tight ends, a bevy of rookies with no NFL experience, the ever steady (but slow) Anquan Boldin and an injured Lee Evans. Flacco did not have his best statistical year but it was actually quite amazing that he was able to create quick chemistry with the young players. Especially since he lost his two top targets from the previous years in Derrek Mason and Todd Heap.
This year Flacco will have another year with the savvy veteran Boldin and a second year to work with speedster Torrey Smith, who will be participating in his full NFL off season with the team. It will also be Joe's first year with possibility of having is new favorite target in Dennis Pitta running with the "ones" as well.m aBy all accounts Flacco has looked sharp this preseason. Leading many reporters and front office staff to come out a publicly say how far he has grown since last season. This season Joe has all the weapons he could ask for and what looks to be a very strong running game once again.
I personally think this will be the year that "Joe Cool" comes out of his "shell". After the first quarter of the AFC Championship in New England Flacco seemed to realize what he needed to do to be the one to carry this team. He willl go into this season with a better understanding of the players he is working with and when and how to use them to the best of their abilities.
This , plus Flacco's growing leadership on the field and in the locker room could be the recipe for his best season yet as a pro. The Ravens have never asked Flacco to be the one to take over a game and win it but he proved he could do that multiple times last season. By the end of 2012 I think Joe will be able to win the game for his team on a consistent basis and he will have his best all around year in the NFL.
As I am sure most fans have Joe Flacco number one on their list of players to watch, I think he will be a quite a nice surprise for the City of Baltimore because Joey Flacco is turning into a man right in front of our eyes.