By Keith Allison
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has made it clear that their offense is led by quarterback Joe Flacco.
“In pecking order, this is Joe’s offense, then everybody else,” Rice said Thursday, per the Baltimore Sun. “And he’s proven that this preseason with how he’s played, his tempo, how vocal he is, and the quiet Joe phase I think is pretty much over. He’s been outspoken – and I guess you guys get to see it more going into Year 5 – but for me and him, we came in together, and I think he’s going to prove to everybody why he’s a top quarterback in the league. And going into this game, I’m confident, he’s confident. I just can’t wait to get out there with the guys so we can go out there and show guys what he’s really capable of doing.”
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis says Flacco has been more vocal this season.
“Joe is just more vocal because he is more loose,” inside linebacker Ray Lewis said. “I think bringing [quarterbacks coach] Jim Caldwell in here, kind of working with [former Indianapolis Colts and current Denver Broncos quarterback] Peyton [Manning], and I think he gives Joe a lot of flexibility to really just now take control of the offense. … When you think about a quarterback like Joe, that’s the type of quarterback that he has always been coming from – pretty much like a run-and-shoot offense where you are getting in, getting out, and making the defenses think on the run. I think that’s [where] Joe is really going into his own, because he is really getting comfortable with it.”
If the Ravens are going to get over the hump and win their second Super Bowl in franchise history, they’re going to need Flacco to play at an elite level this season.