Thursday, July 15, 2010
Flacco Ready To Take The Next Step
Today marks the first day of my look at the Baltimore Ravens roster. Since it’s the most important position on the field, I’m going to look at the quarterbacks. What do the Ravens have at qb? What did they do this offseason at quarterback? Did they need to do anything?
The quarterback of the present and future is Joe Flacco. Flacco has taken this team to the playoffs in each of his first two seasons, and a third trip to the playoffs in consecutive seasons would be a remarkable achievement. Flacco has improved each of the past two seasons, and is the first Raven quarterback to throw 20 or more touchdowns since Vinny Testaverde did it in 1996. Flacco also set a Ravens record for quarterback rating at 88.9.
Flacco, a 2nd round pick in the 2008 draft, has been a terrific pickup. He came from the University of Delaware, a Division I-AA school, and has not disappointed. He is much further along in his career than anybody could have imagined to this point, and he only figures to get better. Flacco has one of the strongest arms in the game, is very intelligent, and is much more mobile and athletic than people give him credit for. He will benefit from having newly acquired wideout Anquan Boldin and newly signed receiver Donte Stallworth. These two targets give Flacco a tandem, along with Derrick Mason, that Baltimore hasn’t seen in a very long time.
I look for Flacco to have a big season. I can see him throwing more than 25 touchdown passes with close to or over 4,000 yards passing.
In the unfortunate case that Flacco gets injured this season for any period of time, the Ravens signed former pro bowler Marc Bulger to be the backup. Bulger has been a starter in the NFL since 2002, but injuries and a bad team caught up with him. He’s a very capable insurance policy, and is somebody the team can rely on to play well if called upon. It was a great depth move by Ozzie Newsome and his people to bring Bulger aboard.
Tomorrow I will preview the running backs