Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco caused a stir this week in Baltimore when he complained about the offensive play calls in the second half of last Saturday's victory over the Browns.
"We kind of came out and we, honestly, played conservative," Flacco told reporters Wednesday. "When we didn’t, we missed a couple of plays, whether it was a drop or a missed throw here. I wish you guys would help me out and start complaining that we played too conservative so it would put pressure on our coaches to not do that.”
Flacco laughed afterward, but he was right to voice his displeasure. You want a quarterback to be assertive and vocal. You want a quarterback to be the leader. His teammates admired Flacco when he spoke out this offseason after Baltimore fired quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn.
But Flacco's opinion was wrong this time. The Ravens weren't conservative. They just weren't clutch.
In the first half, the Ravens threw 12 times on 28 plays. In the second half, after taking a 17-point halftime lead, they threw 12 times on 34 plays.
The problem was that Ravens receivers dropped three passes in the second half and Flacco was intercepted on a deep pass to the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said he would listen to Flacco's thoughts as he tried to make light of the situation.
“I thought about going and telling Joe, ‘Those words are hurtful. I’m not coming to the pancake social,'" Cameron said, playing off the car-insurance commercial featuring the Redskins' Brian Orakpo and a caveman.
The concern here might not be Flacco speaking out about the offense but the relationship between Flacco and Cameron.
"We move on to Cincinnati," Cameron said. "They are a very good football team and we’re going to do what we need to do and run the offense we need to run to win the game. But I know this, Joe and I will be on the same page.”