Every single team in the AFC North drafted a quarterback over the course of the 2018 NFL Draft. One of them is intended to be the immediate future of the franchise, in front of him only a bridge quarterback. Another two are seen as the potential heir apparent to otherwise-entrenched starters—one a little more entrenched than the other.
And it seems that one of those entrenched quarterbacks is not taking it as easily as the other. The Super Bowl champion hasn’t even spoken to his team’s latest member of the quarterback room. In fact, he hasn’t spoken at all since then, except to decline to comment.
If you haven’t figured it out by now (and that would be hard to do given the title), I’m not talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger, though Roethlisberger admitted he has not spoken to Mason Rudolph yet. The Baltimore Ravens’ first-round quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn’t heard from Joe Flacco, either.
The difference? Baltimore’s rookies are already in town and on the practice field. The Steelers’ rookie minicamp is next weekend. Roethlisberger explained that he hasn’t spoken to Rudolph yet because the rookies are not yet in town and around the facility.
Flacco doesn’t have that excuse. He declined to answer reporters’ questions the day after the pick was made while he was participating in a team draft event, saying, “I don’t believe I’m talking today”. And he hasn’t talked since, even though the team has drafted him, ostensibly, two new tight ends, two new wide receivers, and a new tackle.
Jackson has been on the practice field for the Ravens now, which also means that he has had the reporters in his face. And he was naturally asked about whether or not he has been in touch with Flacco yet. He couldn’t tell reporters anything but the fact that he hasn’t been.
There is a tremendous amount of pressure on Flacco to turn things around after his team has missed the playoffs in three consecutive postseasons. It was the first time during his tenure that the Ravens have missed the postseason in back-to-back years. The team has been bumped out of the playoffs in Week 17 two years in a row and is just 40-40 since winning the Super Bowl in 2012.
Baltimore has worked on rebuilding the missing pieces from their offensive line, including injured players returning. They wiped out the wide receiver room and brought new ones in. They’ve heavily restocked at tight end, and they feel as if they have their running back. The defense is already secured.
The plate is set for Flacco. Whether or not he feasts could go a long way toward determining how much longer he will be in Baltimore, though Jackson of course also has to actually prove himself first.