Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco refused to dump on Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel for making an obscene gesture Monday night.
Not that Flacco endorsed the move. But Flacco said emotions run hot during an NFL game, and that he understood how something like Manziel’s middle finger salute toward the Redskins bench could happen.
Asked if he had ever done something like that, Flacco said, “I flipped (Terrell) Suggs off yesterday at practice. I honestly can’t believe it hasn’t happened more often.
“When bullets are flying, man, it’s a football game. It can be pretty crazy out there. When you watch it on TV, when we go back and watch it on film, you can’t account for all the things that are actually going on out there. Guys are tired as can be, all kinds of stuff. People are saying things to each other. That stuff can happen. You don’t want to, obviously. But I always think all those things are blown out of proportion, and they want something to talk about, so this is it today.”
Nicknamed “Joe Cool”, Flacco does his share of trash talking in practice, but during games he focuses more on beating the opposition with his arm. Many opponents have learned that trying to rattle Flacco with trash talk is a waste of time. Flacco said opponents never talked to him as much as they talk to Manziel, even when Flacco was a rookie.
“I didn’t have everything on me like he does,” Flacco said. “When people say stuff to you, what do you do? You react. Usually you react in a way that you might not necessarily want to.
“I hate to say it, and you don’t want to make it this way, but a football field is a place where there’s a lot of emotion. Sometimes those things happen. Obviously you want to limit it to the point where nobody else sees it. But it is what it is. I think we’ve all seen the middle finger before, and get over it.”