John Harbaugh played it cool Wednesday, being guarded in his response to Joe Flacco’s pointed comments on Tuesday. Flacco said the Ravens’ use of the Wildcat offense made the Ravens look like they were running a “high school” offense.
“My reaction would be my reaction,” Harbaugh said Wednesday to the assembled media at the Ravens practice facility. “ I’ll just leave it at that. One thing about Joe, and I think any great player, is they want the ball in their hands. He’s always been that way. He’s always felt that way. I want him to have the ball in his hands.”
However, that left many questions unanswered. Would the Ravens use the Wildcat at all against the Steelers on Thursday night? If they did use it, how would Flacco react, especially it the Ravens used it for more than a couple of plays, and moved Flacco to the wide receiver position, a formation Flacco clearly detested against the Jets?
Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor played a dozen snaps Sunday against the Jets, his most extended action of the season by far. The Ravens’ running game has struggled almost the entire season, and Taylor’s first carry was a 17-yard gain.
Flacco made it clear Tuesday that he did not view the Wildcat as a direct slap in the face. However, he also made it clear he wants as many opportunities as possible to make plays. Using Taylor in the Wildcat takes opportunities away from Flacco. And that does not sit well with the Ravens’ franchise quarterback.
Asked whether Flacco's feelings would change how much the Ravens used the Wildcat, Harbaugh said, “We’re going to do everything we can do to move the ball offensively. We’ve got guys that can play that we’ll put on the field in different spots wherever we feel like we need to, and all our guys support that.”
Just another storyline for Steelers-Ravens, Thanksgiving night, a rivalry game, featuring two 5-6 teams that both need to win. Flacco knows the Ravens need this game, but he does not believe the Ravens need the Wildcat. The Steelers will certainly prepare for it. But it will be interesting to see if the Ravens use it.