June is "QB Month" for our friends at ProFootballFocus.
PFF blogger Steve Palazzolo is on an analyzing spree, breaking quarterbacks down to the gritty raw and diagnosing each performance under specified situations. Only 24 more days left, Steve. You got this.
Before we talk Joe Flacco, let's look at a few key definitions. According to PFF:
Standard Drop: Pass starts, and remains, in a traditional pocket
Scramble: Pass can start either as a standard drop or a rollout, but the QB is either forced to move left or right due to pressure, perceived pressure, or his own volition.
Rollout (boot): Pass is designed to roll the quarterback and the pocket. This is a play that is called in the huddle, not movement that is caused by the defense or the quarterback’s decision making.
Palazzolo stressed distinguishing between the meanings of QB Rating and PFF Grading.
On the other hand, PFF Grade is a good indicator of how well the quarterback actually performed in a given situation. Whether they throw an accurate pass that was dropped, or perhaps an inaccurate one that should have been intercepted and the defense dropped, the PFF grade will account for those situations with a positive and a negative grade respectively while QB Rating will simply reflect the 0-for-1 passing.
Flacco didn't fall too far from the top, placing seventh-best on Palazzolo's Rollout list with a 2.2 score. Notice the drastic difference? His normal, completion rate shoots up from 59.3 to 74.1 percent when rolling out. The McDonalds mighty wing-loving quarterback couldn't fly out of the pocket fast enough in 2013 as Flap-po was sacked 47 times when -- that's right -- not rolling out of the pocket.
Expect Flacco to skyrocket up the chart this season, as inevitably No. 5 will be used for more rollouts under Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak and his scheme. With a hyper-flexible offensive line, Flacco will have cleaner and smoother slide protection when he's running bootlegs.
Kubiak likes, sorry, LOVES running designed rollouts off of the play-action, and from the diagram shown above, we know Flacco's fundamentals exist.
We listened to an enthused John Harbaugh rave about his offensive linemen after Tuesday's practice.
Left side of the offensive line is looking very good, and they've been working really hard. You see them on their own, early, late. You'll probably see them in the weight room or the meeting room working.
Rollouts will markedly help buy Flacco more time. We've touched on this topic before, but we are excited to see how new weapons will be utilized -- Steve Smith Sr., Michael Campanero, Justin Forsett -- in a Kubiak system that runs on timing patterns and quick passes.
With a receiving corps reminiscent of that in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory, expect Flacco to thrive in 2014.