- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn't shocked when Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel extended his middle finger toward the Washington Redskins' bench in Monday night's preseason game. Actually, he's surprised by the attention it's received.
"I think we've all seen the middle finger before and we should get over it," Flacco said Tuesday.
Manziel may have been reacting to what he heard from the Redskins' bench, because he extended his middle finger over his right shoulder and into the direction of the Washington sideline.
Flacco said he never got harassed to the point where he lashed out like Manziel. But Flacco also said he never dealt with the amount of pressure that's been placed on the Browns' first-round pick.
Instead of criticizing Manziel, Flacco was more empathetic toward him.
"When people say stuff to you, what do you do? You react," Flacco said. "And you usually react in a way that you might not necessarily want to or not necessarily always react that way. I hate to say it, and you don't want to make it that way. But a football field is a place where there is a lot of emotion. Sometimes, those things happen. Obviously, you want to limit to the point where no one else sees it."
Flacco said he's surprised that these types of incidents don't happen more often in football.
"When bullets are flying, it can be pretty crazy out there," he said. "When you watch it on TV and even when we got back and watch it on film, you don't account for all the things that are actually going on out there. Guys are tired as can be. People are saying things to each other. So, that kind of stuff can happen. You don't want it to, obviously. But I always think those things are blown out of proportion and they want something to talk about. This is it today."
Flacco is known for his low-key demeanor. That's why he's known as Joe Cool in Baltimore.
When asked if he had ever extended the middle finger on a football field, Flacco said, "Yeah, I flipped [linebacker Terrell] Suggs off the other day in practice."