if WR TJ Houshmandzadeh would take some time in the locker room to say…well, just about anything.
But there’s something unique about the fact that it came from Flacco.
Unique because, in the words of Mason, “he usually don’t say anything.”
Mason went on to add that Flacco’s speech wasn’t by any means “rah-rah”, instead “he just said a few words, that was it.”
Apparently it didn’t take away from the power of the words.
“When it’s coming from a quarterback, it means something” added Mason. “Especially our quarterback, because he never really says anything.”
Mason went on. “He just understands what we have in that room, and it’s special. He understands as an offense what we have. We have to continue to put pressure on defenses each and every week. If you’ve got a quarterback that’s thinking that way, you’re going to go a long way.”
I’ll stop short of calling this a “Eureka” moment for Flacco, but I won’t try to shy away from the significance of it.
Had Joe Flacco never said anything at halftime, the Ravens may well have gotten a quick interception from S Ed Reed (the first of two for him in his first game back after missing six weeks on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list). They may well have immediately cashed in that interception for six points when Flacco found Boldin on a 34 yard pass off a brilliant flea flicker call by Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron. But what we do know is that they did both of those things within 16 seconds of returning to the field following Flacco’s words at halftime.
That’s growth. That’s leadership.
Those are the types of steps away from the field that a 3rd year quarterback looking to lead his team to an AFC North title and a trip to the Super Bowl should be taking.
The significance can’t go unnoticed.
There is no expectation for Flacco to become the type of overly emotional leader that other NFL quarterbacks like Brett Favre or Ben Roethlisberger are. As Mason was quick to point out, “that’s not his personality. You can’t make a guy do something that’s not within his personality. Joe (Flacco) is our quarterback. He leads by example. He leads by what he does on the field. He doesn’t get too high, he doesn’t get too low. He stays right in the middle and that’s what you want from your quarterback.”
But in stepping up and choosing to be the guy to say something Sunday, Flacco clearly left an impact with his teammates that could have effects both short-term and long-term.
“Every now and then he might say something” said Mason. “You know when he does say something, he means it.”
On a day when not everything went the way the team would have wanted it to, this certainly appears to be a significant step in the right direction.
Hear from Flacco, Harbaugh, Mason, Lewis, Reed, CB Chris Carr, LB Jarret Johnson, TE Todd Heap and K Billy Cundiff following Sunday’s win in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!