Ismail: This Is The Best Group Flacco Has Had

Joe Flacco hasn't been great since winning a Super Bowl, but that could change this year with Baltimore's new weapons, Qadry Ismail says

Taz and the Moose
August 21, 2018 - 10:27 am

USA Today Images


Since winning the Super Bowl in 2012, the Baltimore Ravens have missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons, and Joe Flacco, many would argue, has been a big reason why. 

“Joe has had, since winning the Super Bowl, down years,” Ravens analyst Qadry Ismail said on Taz & The Moose. “A variety of issues have come up. You could start with coaching as far as different coordinators that he’s worked with. You look at the offense in general when it comes to players around him and acquiring talent. The lack of consistency for that offense to function comes to mind. You look at the running game and the way in which it was anemic when Ray Rice left the team. I think all of that led to a Joe Flacco not being the best that he could possibly be. And you add insult to injury when he tears an ACL, and he missed (all of training camp) last season.”

Flacco threw for 3,141 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 16 games last season. Those numbers are, well, not great.

Which might be why the Ravens invested a first-round pick in Lamar Jackson.

“We all know (the NFL is) what have you done for me lately?” Ismail said. “The bottom line comes down to he hasn’t produced. I think for Ozzie Newsome, (who) is now going to give the reins over to Eric DeCosta as the general manager, I think it was once of those cases (where he thought), ‘Okay, Joe is entering his 11th year. While he’s young in quarterback years, we’re setting the Ravens up for the future by drafting Lamar Jackson. Let’s see how Joe Flacco handles the pressure this year.’”

The Ravens overhauled their skill-position talent this offseason, adding wide receivers Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown and drafting tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

“Honestly, as I have looked at training camp going back 10 years, I think this is probably the best all-around group that Joe has had to work with,” Ismail said. “You talk about the young tight ends, you talk about what Michael Crabtree can do, you talk about Snead and Brown – I think this entire group is a strong group. The only X-factor, really, is the offensive line. I think so goes Marshal Yanda and that offensive line, so goes this team.”

The Ravens open the season at home against Buffalo on Sept. 9. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET.