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"Joe Cool" Takes It All In Stride

With all the criticism Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco takes week in and week out, one could understand if he got a bit testy at times. When repeatedly asked about one's shortcomings anyone could be justified for snapping just a bit. However, "Joe Cool" is precisely that when it comes to addressing his critics.

Flacco has now led the Ravens to the post season every year since he was drafted. This season Baltimore finished with a 12-4 record and captured the AFC North crown. Although his numbers were down from the past few seasons, the team as a whole progressed tremendously and number five had a lot to do with that. On Wednesday Flacco was asked if he has noticed the criticism dissipate as the season progressed.

"I’m sure if we win [the Super Bowl] I’ll have nothing to do with why we won, according to you guys,"

Flacco playfully responded to the media. I'm sure somewhere inside Joe has to be burning up for all the flack he has taken despite owning the all-time record for wins for a fourth year quarterback. He won't let it get the better of him though. As if he was in an elimination game on the road to the Super Bowl in the fourth quarter down by a touchdown, Flacco stays calm and collected. However, he still finds a way to get his point across without sounding like a cry Brady, I mean baby.

Flacco was then asked if he would be okay with playing a role similar to the one Trent Dilfer played for the Ravens in the team's Super Bowl season. I, myself would have taken that question as a slap in the face considering how Dilfer's role has been over-exaggerated in the media over the years. As if the Ravens were able to win the Super Bowl despite the fact they had him behind center. Joe had a quick easy response ready as usual.

"I don’t care if people look at it that way," Flacco said. "[But] I don’t necessarily see it that way."

One thing is for sure. the Baltimore Ravens do not win any games 'despite' Joe Flacco. Flacco has put the team on his back at times and vice versa. This team may be a team that needs all of it's parts to contribute to be at their best but Joe is an integral part of how the offense runs. He is relied upon to make plays and be a leader. Baltimore is still capable of winning if he is ineffective however, that is what makes them great. You can be damn sure the Ravens would put up a lot better showing than Indianapolis did when their starting quarterback went down.

With a stable of new inexperienced receivers, Flacco has done well enough to win the division and put his team in a great position to make a serious run at the Super Bowl. The kid has what it takes.

Early in the season the big complaint around Baltimore was that Joe Flacco was being asked to do too much and the team needed to rely on the run game more. This is very true but now that the team has returned to it's running roots people are back to assuming that Joe is incapable of being the type of quarterback that wins games with his arm. It is a lose, lose situation for Joe as he can only do what is asked of him and try and make the most of his opportunities when he can. But he takes it all in stride as usual.

"You guys want an elite quarterback? You have to stop complaining when we go out there and throw the ball 60 times a game," Flacco said.

"You guys want everybody to be Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. But you guys realize, those guys don’t run the ball? If we tried to do that, the criticism we’d take around here would be ridiculous. We could win eight games like that and lose one, and you guys would be like, ‘Oh man, what are you guys doing?’"