With Lamar Jackson working into the offensive fold this season, Joe Flacco has had to adjust to some role changes. He’s still the starting quarterback but when Jackson takes the field, Flacco is usually not under center.
Jackson has taken snaps at quarterback at least a couple times in each game this season. When he does, Flacco splits out wide. However, he rarely, if ever, actually moves from his position on the field. Instead acting merely as a decoy to draw attention from defenders.
According to Joe, his wife believes he needs to show more effort and enthusiasm on these design plays.
“My wife gave me crap one day, told me I need to look more interested out there,” Flacco said. “But I’m just trying to stay out of it. I’m not comfortable out there. I don’t need to get too creative.”
Flacco doesn’t seem too fond of these plays, and it’s hard to blame him. Opposing defenses know that Flacco is not a legit threat to receive any targets. He’s essentially a non-factor.
During last week’s 12-9 defeat against the Cleveland Browns, this development was evident. Lamar Jackson took several snaps under center, as Flacco stood idle and watched from afar:
“You can see me. I’m just out there standing,” Flacco proclaimed. “I just try to stay out of the way of everything. That’s what I’m told to do.”
It’s hard to critique him for appearing unenthusiastic when his role is to stand still. As Flacco noted, he doesn’t feel comfortable lining up at wide receiver. However, it’s unlikely the Ravens will stop running these plays anytime soon.
It will be interesting to see if Marty Mornhinweg gets more creative in his play-calling throughout the season. Running back Alex Collins offered his perspective on the situation, claiming that these design plays hold value.
“He’s just luring defenses to sleep … he might be catching some passes if they’re not paying attention to him,” Collins said. “That’s a good thing. Let him keep tricking them over there.”