The questions were predictable for Joe Flacco following the first practice of the summer, but the quarterback spoke with conviction and was unapologetic in saying the Ravens are a confident team despite a plethora of offseason changes.
A $120.6 million contract probably doesn’t hurt in giving anyone more confidence, but Flacco dispelled any notion that it will drastically change who he is or his expectations for the year.
“I’m not going to change what I do at all just because I make more money,” Flacco said. “That has nothing to do with leading a football team. I’m going to go out there, I’m going to play well, I’m going to lead by example, and I’m going to have fun with my guys and get them to trust me.”
Flacco even mixed in some humor when asked about backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is entering his third season but has never had to replace the starting quarterback due to injury. As he was praising his understudy, Flacco made it clear he doesn’t plan to see his regular-season streak of 90 consecutive starts to come to an end anytime soon.
Taylor received extensive action in the regular-season finale in Cincinnati last season when Harbaugh pulled most starters early in the first half, but Flacco has never missed a game in his NFL career.
“I’d like to keep his reps at a minimum,” said Flacco as he chuckled. “Not necessarily during training camp, but all the other times.”
Flacco also handled the latest question tossed his way about the proverbial Super Bowl hangover, a theme the defending champions will inevitably face for the bulk of the preseason — and maybe beyond.
It’s clear the quarterback isn’t hiding from any of the attention after completing one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history.
“We won last year, I have a lot of money — or I’m going to get a lot of money — and we’re going to win football games,” Flacco said. “That’s the way it is around here. We’re not going to apologize for acting like a good football team. Our expectations are high.”