Rob Long: Either You Are Or You Aren’t
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs says he still loves “Cool Joe” but he wants Joe Flacco to be more vocal. During an interview at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills Wednesday, Suggs said, “He may need to cuss somebody out. He may have to cuss me out. It’s good to hear your quarterback get after somebody sometimes.”
The question is, can someone become that person? Joe Flacco is 29 years old and after completing 60% of 3100 attempts with over 21,000 yards, 121 touchdowns and a Super Bowl MVP, how do you convince him to even want to change? He’s had success. He’s accomplished things that most quarterbacks only dream of accomplishing. How does Terrell Suggs, John Harbaugh or anyone else convince Joe Flacco that he needs to become someone else?
Now, back to the original question. My question is CAN someone change? Joe Flacco is who he is. He was that man when the Baltimore Ravens decided to make him the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. They drafted a quarterback to eventually become the franchise quarterback that they so desperately needed. They drafted a quarterback that they needed to gel well with veterans and huge personalities. That’s what they have in Joe Flacco. He was very successful with that group. He had a group of alpha-males and his personality did not clash with them. There was very little friction between he and the likes of Derrick Mason and Anquan Boldin. We witnessed some of Mason’s temper tantrums on the sidelines and it never really seemed to shake Flacco. His personality could absorb that.
Fast forward to 2014. The team no longer has an abundance of those personalities, especially on offense. We know who Steve Smith is, but he’s yet to play in a game for the Ravens. Ray Rice is still waiting to hear from the Commissioner’s Office on his impending suspension and even still, he’s never been the super vocal leader type. The team is in need of leadership. The team is in need of, what Vinny Cerrato and I have been saying, “A Face”.
Terrell Suggs is asking Joe Flacco to do something that I don’t think he’s capable of. He’s not that guy. He’s not the in your face, cuss you out guy. He’s “Joe Cool” and that seems to be his comfort zone. If that is his comfort zone, doesn’t that mean being anything or anyone else takes him out of his comfort zone? Why would you want to take your franchise quarterback out of his comfort zone?
Leadership is something that every locker room needs. Some fans disagree with that when I bring the topic up but here’s a man who’s in the locker room saying they need that. I agree with Suggs. I just don’t think you’re going to have good results if you get that from Joe Flacco. He’s not wired that way.
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