As seen in Las Vegas, Joe Flacco's shorts are "elite" but photos from his vacation have left a bad taste in the mouths of some Ravens fans as the quarterback has yet to gather his teammates for an organized workout.
Adding more distaste is that Peyton Manning, the person many fans hoped Flacco would turn into following a Super Bowl MVP season and massive contract extension is holding his annual Duke passing academy with Broncos teammates. Pictured below are Wes Welker, Andre Caldwell, Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas. Star wideout Demaryius Thomas was absent as he is still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in Super Bowl XLVIII.
After their performance last season, the Ravens offense is in need of a total makeover and that is starting with the hiring of Gary Kubiak as offensive coordinator. Flacco has also received some veteran help as the Ravens added former Panthers wideout Steve Smith and Texans tight end Owen Daniels in the past few weeks.
Just because a workout hasn't been officially scheduled, it's something that Flacco and his teammates are working on according to both wide receiver Torrey Smith and Flacco's BFF tight end Dennis Pitta.
I, for one, believe that people need to calm down their criticisms of Flacco and his offseason leadership as their are many reasons that an unofficial team workout doesn't make sense at this point.
Here are a few reasons why:
1) Scheduling is quite difficult:
Typically, the offseason would be for rest, relaxation and recovery following a grueling season. However, some members of the Ravens have other things occupying their time. Torrey Smith and his wife Chanel just welcomed a baby boy (Torrey Jr.) into the world over the weekend. Also, wide receiver Marlon Brown (Georgia) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (Harvard) have returned to their respective universities to finish their education.
Some players may be sitting around and "being fat," but that'll just have to be taken in stride.
2) Work on your individual craft
At this point, many players are working on individual techniques and fundamentals of their position. One would figure that route running should be taken care of prior to training camp, but there's a wide range of differences in the crispness of routes between receivers on the depth chart.
For Flacco, he could be throwing a football through a tire hanging off his tree by a rope for all I care. Improve accuracy, improve physically, whatever, but there's not much that can be done besides working on your own individual game at this point of the offseason.
3) Turn "voluntary" into "mandatory"
This is by far the most important.
The offseason schedule was released last week and it should be noted that the first day of offseason workouts to begin at the Under Armour Performance Center start on April 21. For Flacco and the rest of his offense, this date is key because it's when Kubiak can begin to implement his offensive system.
These sessions are voluntary, but Flacco needs to take charge and tell his teammates they should be mandatory. The same should be said for Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
Training camp is a time of repetition and drilling the playbook into a players head. During "voluntary" sessions, this is when the individual work from the offseason should begin to pay off as the Ravens look to instal a totally new offense in a faster than usual time period.
If Flacco or any member of the Ravens offense skips these "voluntary" sessions, then they should be open to some sort of criticism. However, the last time I checked, it's not April 21st, so everyone should just calm down and get off my lawn.