Thus far through the offseason, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has failed to gather his receivers together for a throwing session. Some Ravens fans have made a big stink about it, others don't really care.
Personally, I consider my opinion to be the latter of the two.
This is the offseason. It's a time to individually work on your craft and rest your body from what is a grueling NFL season filled with 90-hour work weeks for coaches and slightly less than that for players. Unfortunately, a few players have found their way into legal embarrassments during their free time, but many of those players Flacco would want to meet with for a passing session have been utilizing this time to better their lives.
Earlier this month, wide receiver Torrey Smith and his wife Chanel welcomed a healthy baby boy into this world. Wide receiver Marlon Brown (Georgia) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard) traded some of their final college classes for football during their rookie season. This offseason, they returned to school to finish their degrees.
In the grand scheme of their lives, these priorities are far more important than catching footballs and eating pizza with Flacco during a mock practice session in April.
Today, April 21, 2014, is the day Flacco critics should have circled on their calendar if they wanted to criticize him for how he spends his offseason being a leader. The Ravens have opened the doors to The Castle for their offseason conditioning program and it's the first time players and coaches can meet and prepare for the upcoming season. With a new offense being installed by offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, today is the most important day thus far for Flacco to strongly suggest his teammates show up at the practice facility.
Regardless, technically these sessions are voluntary.
More-so than anything else, this is a time for mental reps. It's a time to ask questions to Kubiak about his newly designed offense. As compared to teams with no turnover in their offensive coaching staff or game plan, the Ravens are behind the eight ball slightly. This is why getting together as early as possible with Kubiak is necessary.
At this stage of their lives, receivers should know how to catch a football. So, why are so many people calling into sports talk radio and bickering about Flacco not getting together with them? What's more important at this point is learning how to get from Point A to Point B and getting open. To get open, you need a scheme and play design.
Implementing that part of the offense begins today.
I do think that Flacco should be in attendance today and if he's not, then he should be open to a slight amount of criticism given the circumstance with the infancy of this Ravens offensive game plan under Kubiak. However, every other criticism of Flacco before this point is simply hogwash.