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Ravens Roost


April 1, 2010 6:22 PM

Will Joe Flacco shine in his third season?

You can look back at the careers of numerous NFL quarterbacks and see a pattern.large_FLACCOOO.jpg Many of the really great ones came into their own in their third season. For example, Joe Montana came into the league in 1979 and put up pretty dismal numbers. His second season he started to shine passing for 1,795 yards and 15 touchdowns. In his third season he nearly doubled that throwing for 3,565 yards.

John Elway is another NFL QB that didn't really put it all together until his third season. In his first season he threw for only 1,663 yards, but by his third season he had reached his lifetime average by passing for 3,891 yards. It seems that even the best quarterbacks need a little time to adjust to the pro game, but once they do there are few who can do the job as well. So, that leaves us to ponder just how much Joe Flacco will improve in his third season, or wonder if he'll improve significantly at all.

Joe Flacco went from throwing for 2,971 yards his rookie season, more than either Montana or Elway had in their second season, to 3,613 yards last year. And that was with a leg injury that hampered his throwing ability the second half of the season. I'd say we might be looking at the next great quarterback of this generation.

The Ravens knew what they were getting when they moved up to draft Flacco in the first round of the 2008 draft. Their scouts had watched him play in several games his senior year at Delaware and told Ozzie Newsome that they thought they had found the Ravens quarterback of the future. It looks more and more that those scouts were right. Flacco has shown poise and confidence rarely seen in a young player thus far in his career, and one can only surmise that his confidence and skill level will reach much higher levels in the years to come.

The Ravens, knowing that if Flacco is to develop his talents to their fullest, made three key moves this off season to help him along. First they signed Donte' Stallworth who should give Flacco a better option on deep routes, the team also resigned Derrick Mason, who has been Flacco's comfort blanket and go to guy his first two seasons, and thirdly the team brought in All Pro receiver Anquan Boldin who should give Flacco a huge option in the middle of the field, something he really hasn't had since only tight end Todd Heap covers that area of the field. Plus the Ravens may add to Flacco's new arsenal in this years draft by adding another receiver or tight end.  So now Flacco will have the weapons he needs to take his game to that next level, the one where the great ones ascend to.

Some people would think that the pressure this puts on young Joe might be too much to bare, but that's not Joe Flacco's mindset. This young man is as grounded an individual as you'll ever see. From day one his demeanor never changed if he threw a touchdown or an interception. It isn't by accident his team mates nicknamed him "Joe Cool". This is a guy who is already worth millions of dollars in his young life but spends most of his off season living back home with his parents. Night clubs and hangers on aren't his style as he spends most of his free time looking at ways to make himself a better player.

That being said how can this guy not go on to become one of the best of all time? You would be hard pressed to find someone with his natural talents, his determination, and his total dedication to his craft that didn't succeed in becoming one of the best at what he does. I think this is the season we will see Joe Flacco shine. I believe we are about to witness greatness, the kind this town hasn't seen since the day when that scrawny kid from Pennsylvania came to town and was given the number 19 to wear on his jersey.      

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