It's Steelers Week for the Baltimore Ravens, but you wouldn't know it around town. All the talk is about, well, Joe Flacco talking.
The Ravens quarterback blasted his team's use of the Wildcat offense on Wednesday, saying it makes the Ravens look like a "high school offense." This is the second time that Flacco has made his opinion known about splitting out as a wide receiver for five plays last Sunday.
So, should Flacco shut up about it?
The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston says yes. "If Flacco wants the Ravens to stay out of the Wildcat, play better," Preston wrote. "If he wants more snaps, then get the offense to gain more yards and score more touchdowns, not just field goals. Until then, pipe down No. 5."
John Eisenberg, of the team's official website, didn't have a problem with Flacco speaking out. "It was refreshing to see some honest emotion from him rather than a carefully orchestrated corporate response," Eisenberg wrote. "And is anyone really surprised he doesn’t want to yield his spot? Few big-name quarterbacks do."
The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck feels Flacco said a little too much and shouldn't have hinted that the Wildcat was a one-game deal. "Even if it was agreed behind closed doors to reduce the number of those plays in the future, Flacco should not have put that on the street two days before facing the Steelers in another must-win divisional matchup," Schmuck wrote. "Those plays resulted in only limited success, but they still represent an added dimension that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has to consider during a very short practice week."
My take on the situation is this: Flacco has earned the right to speak out but he needs to tone down the defiant stance. Ravens coach John Harbaugh will likely be asked to give his thoughts on all of this when he meets with reporters Wednesday.
Here's the rest of the wake-up caw ...
Terrell Suggs isn't concerned about going three games without a sack. "I was thinking about that, too," Suggs said, via the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. "But it wasn't like I wasn't winning (against opposing offensive linemen) because last week, I had some success rushing the passer. I just didn't register a sack. But I can't get down on myself. I still have games left and I'm going to continue to play." During this drought, he has fallen behind Elvis Dumervil for the team lead in sacks.
The games against the Steelers are usually decided by three points, which puts a bigger emphasis on converting inside the 20-yard line. The team's website points out that the Ravens are tied for 20th in red zone efficiency and Flacco has a 77.0 passer rating in the red zone this season. “We’re working on the red zone really hard, and we want to get as many sevens down there as you can,” Harbaugh said. “The first thing is not to give up those three, to protect the kicker to make the kick, and to get yourself to the point where you have a chance to kick the field goal and get three points -- that’s where it starts. From there, you want to build your way into seven.”
After finally unveiling his quick step in the end zone last Sunday, wide receiver-returner Jacoby Jones is already planning his next touchdown celebration. "I've always got at least three dances ready," he told the Associated Press. "I keep them up my sleeve. I practice them every day."