The Baltimore Ravens are looking to test the old football aphorisms this offseason. One of the big ones is, if you think you have two quarterbacks, then you don’t have one. Basically, the idea is that if one is not clearly better than the other then the odds are neither of them are particularly good.
It’s a different scenario when you’re talking about a team with a franchise quarterback nearing the end of his tenure with them and the successor that they just drafted in the first round, sure, but the Ravens are sure doing their part to make things interesting.
After a decade of virtually unquestioned starting, veteran Joe Flacco is feeling the pressure this offseason thanks to the Ravens’ decision to use a first-round draft pick on Lamar Jackson, whom they have been hyping up quite a bit and not being shy about it.
Even though spring practices are closed to the public and only open to reporters, the Ravens didn’t hide the fact that they were working on plays in which both quarterbacks were on the field at the same time, and that either one at different times could be asked to play a role other than pass-thrower.
That would seem to make a lot more sense for Jackson, who is an extremely athletic quarterback who recorded fantastic rushing and scoring numbers at the college level. While he was adamant about not changing positions during the draft process, he is open to it for the Ravens because he knows that they ultimately view him as a quarterback.
How does Flacco feel about the prospect of running down the field? For Baltimore’s sake, it had better be a more positive response than the one that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had toward the use of the Wildcat offense with running back Le’Veon Bell under center during the 2013 season. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they abandoned that package.
But I made you read this long, so I’ll tell you: it was Jackson throwing a pass to Flacco in practice, the play going for a touchdown, to which the headline refers. One might be inclined to assume that it was the other way around, but Flacco has actually caught a couple of passes in his career before, even if not for many years.
If you watch the highlight of the play, the veteran quarterback shows good form on the reception. He celebrated by showing off his arm and launching the pass into a pond on the team’s training ground facilities.
I know they’re a rival, but I think it’s going to be interesting to see how the Ravens manage to get and keep both quarterbacks involved, especially when they are on the field together. I wouldn’t mind if it ended in disaster when they tried, but either way it should be exciting to watch.