Did you know that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco can ‘move and groove’? Because, apparently, that’s what he’s been doing so far in training camp according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
The coordinator said that yesterday was Flacco’s first full practice, and that he got off to a “fantastic start. He’s on it. It looks like he’s movin’ and groovin’ better than he has in several years, and I suppose that’s because he’s healthy. So he looks pretty good that way.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 22, 2018
While all the talk about a supposed fire lit under the veteran quarterback has surrounded the fact that the Ravens used a first-round draft pick to add quarterback Lamar Jackson to their roster and become their eventual starter, the fact is that he should be moving better than he has in years.
Flacco suffered an injury to both his MCL and ACL during the 2015 season, tearing the ligaments and ending his season. That obviously hindered his mobility some for a while, leading into the offseason of 2016. Then he dealt with a back injury during training camp in 2017 that resulted in him essentially being a non-participant.
So he is healthier at this time of the year than he has been for the past several seasons. And the truth is that he has always been underrated in terms of his mobility. He has 16 rushing touchdowns in his career with 766 rushing yards. He has twice topped 100 yards rushing in a single season. He has even caught two passes in his career. One went for a loss of eight, but the other gained 43 yards.
That’s not to say that he is a ‘mobile quarterback’ as the term has come to be known, describing players like Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota, and Cam Newton, but he has above average mobility for the non-mobile quarterback, which is something that isn’t often acknowledged.
That is one of the reasons that the Ravens are comfortable experimenting with having both Flacco and Jackson on the field together, which includes situations that may arise in which Flacco will be asked to do things on a given play other than dropping back to pass or handing off the football.
Just because he’s healthier, of course, doesn’t mean that he’ll actually play any better. He is a career 84.1 passer rating quarterback, and hasn’t been far off from that average over the past two years. His worst season actually came in the year after he won the Super Bowl MVP award.
Being healthier is also not going to keep the pressure off from Jackson. The only way for him to achieve that is to win games, and he has failed to do that as often as he has succeeded since that Super Bowl season. The Ravens are 40-40 over the past five years, although to be technical, Flacco is actually 38-36 in that span, as he missed the final six games of the 2015 season and his backup went 2-4.