Joe Flacco has had that elite question thrown his way over the years,
Is he or isn't he? In my mind, it doesn't matter. He led the Ravens to a Super Bowl title and is in the prime of his career, and therefore, has the ability to do it again, regardless of any shortcomings he has to his game.
With that in mind, it shouldn't be much of a surprise to find out that a group of 26 league insiders polled by ESPN regard Flacco in the second tier of quarterbacks in the league. He checks in at No. 12, which should be considered a favorable position — especially after finishing 2013 with 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions, albeit dealing with the worst offensive line in Ravens history.
In the ESPN poll conducted by writer Mike Sando, "Eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches and a top executive" participated in it.
Flacco received this spot with the help of some tier one votes from these particular insiders. It would seem those active in the league value Flacco more than a lot of the prognosticators that evaluate quarterbacks from the outside looking in.
But then one NFL offensive coordinator offered this gem of a quote that may cause you to laugh out loud, even if you're the staunchest of the Flacco defenders.
"Flacco would be a guy that you probably either love him or hate him because he's a big guy, probably not the most mobile guy, and he's kind of got the droopy face, kind of like the Jay Cutler face, where it always looks like things are bad."
Hard to argue with the emotionless face he shows at times during games. But that's who he is on the field. He's not going to show much of anything.
One defensive coordinator interviewed for the ESPN poll thought Flacco played with grittiness, a great trait to have. Another didn't seem high on his ability as a player.
"He has a big arm, but he misses so many plays because he doesn't read defenses well. On film, you see guys open, but he doesn't throw it to the right guy."
There you have it. Even those inside NFL circles are divided on Flacco. But enough in this selection of voters thought enough of Flacco to place him in the second group, ahead of guys such as Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford and Nick Foles.
To read the full list, CLICK HERE. It is an ESPN Insider article so it will require having an account.