Flacco gave right answer on gimmick plays

November, 25, 2013
11/25/13
10:00
AM ET
When Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was asked if it was fun splitting out as a wide receiver, he gave an honest answer. He also gave the right answer.

Flacco
"I want to line up behind center," Flacco said after the Ravens' 19-3 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

The Ravens showed unpredictability when they put athletic backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor in shotgun or pistol formation a handful of times. On those plays, Flacco lined up on the outside as a receiver.

After the game, Flacco was candid in saying, it's "fun for a little bit, but that’s it."

There should controversy if Flacco said anything different. You want your quarterback to have this attitude. You want him to believe he's the best option under center. And, make no mistake, Flacco should be the quarterback when the Ravens are facing third-and-10 or a deficit with two minutes left in the game. He has the better arm and has more experience. In case it slipped your mind, Flacco was holding up the Lombardi Trophy nine months ago.

This is kind of the same situation from a year ago when Flacco was asked if he was the best quarterback in the NFL. Flacco was right to say that, too. No matter what you or I think, Flacco should believe he's the best quarterback in the league.

As I wrote Sunday night, I can see how Flacco could take the increased snaps for Taylor as a slap in the face. He signed a $120.6 million contract to be a quarterback, not a decoy or spectator. But this is more a knock against the Ravens' running game than passing attack.

There was no confidence that the Ravens could get anything going on the ground against the NFL's top-ranked run defense. Taylor did provide a spark and produced a 17-yard run, the longest of the game for Baltimore.

The Ravens have to get creative on offense if they want to win. Look at the points scored for the past six games: 17, 16, 18, 20, 20 and 19. So, using more of Taylor shouldn't suggest he's supplanting Flacco. It's an indication that the 30th-ranked offense is willing to do whatever it takes to get better.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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