Flacco on wildcat: Makes Ravens look like high school offense
Joe Flacco made very clear his disdain for the Ravens’ use of the Wildcat offense during his press conference Tuesday. Saying it made the Ravens look like a “high school” offense, Flacco sent a not subtle message that he hoped the Wildcat would be shelved for Thursday night’s crucial game against the Steelers.
“I don’t like that stuff,” Flacco said. “I think it makes you look like a high school offense. That’s just my opinion.”
Asked if he had expressed that opinion to the Ravens’ coaches, Flacco said, “They know how I feel about it.”
Asked if he expected to see the Wildcat again, Flacco said, “ I don’t think so.”
The Ravens may face a delicate issue, wanting to utilize backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s skills, but knowing Flacco will be unhappy when Taylor is used in the Wildcat. All teams that use the Wildcat without featuring the starting quarterback face that dilemma.
Flacco, who signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract during the offseason, said he did not view the Ravens’ use of the Wildcat as a slap in the face. However, Flacco wants as many opportunities as possible to make plays. On several occasions during Sunday’s game against the Jets, Taylor was in the backfield, with Flacco split wide as a receiver. Flacco sounded perturbed about that formation after the game, and he still was Wednesday.
“I’m not doing a single thing,” Flacco said. “I’m not getting it, I’m not blocking, I’m not doing anything.
“I don’t look at it as a slap in the face to me. It is what it is. I want as many chances as I can get behind the line of scrimmage. I just don’t like that stuff in general. Me and Tyrod talk about it. I’m all for us doing things to get better. But we’re not going to be good if we just can’t get good at the basics of what we do 90 percent of the time. We got to get good at those things, or we’re not going to be good no matter what. I just want to make sure that we’re focusing on getting good at those things.”
The Ravens’ running game has struggled virtually all season, and Taylor provided a first-half spark Sunday. He played 12 snaps in the game, making only his second appearance of the season. He had an 18-yard gain on his first carry, and picked up a first down running later on third-and-two. However, Taylor was not as effective in the second half, and whether the Wildcat worked or didn’t work, Flacco was not a fan of its use.
“I don’t care how we use it in the game,” Flacco said. “Successful, not successful. After a big play, not after. I don’t care where it’s used. I’m just not a huge fan of it. I’m the quarterback, I want to be behind the line of scrimmage, I want to be taking the snaps. That’s really the only thing.
“I don’t necessarily take it personally either, in terms of our offense trying to get better. I just think it makes us look not like an NFL team.”
Flacco said he had expressed that same view to Taylor.
“We all have open conversations about it,” Flacco said. “He understands how I feel. Listen, Tyrod’s a quarterback, too. He probably feels a certain way about it, too. Having said that, we’re all going to do our best to make those plays work and execute them well. We’ll see what happens.
It will be interesting to see what happens Thursday. But if the Ravens use the Wildcat, know that their franchise quarterback won’t be wild about it.