Baltimore Ravens: Why Joe Flacco Thinks He Is the NFL's Best QB

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIApril 4, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 24:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Just to get the obvious out of the way first, Joe Flacco is not the best quarterback in the NFL.

He's probably not in the top ten.

Still, he seems to think he is, saying in a WNST 1570 interview, "I don't think I'm top five. I think I'm the best."

There will probably be a media firestorm about how the beleaguered quarterback is deluded and arrogant, or maybe he is simply trying to gain traction in his contract talks.

If you continue on past the inflammatory rhetoric, Flacco clarifies his statement in a way that makes a lot more sense, though it does not produce as inflammatory of a headline.

He continued in the interview, "I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way."

So to Flacco, this statement is not a matter of statistics, wins and losses or arm strength.

This is simply about confidence.

Ravens fans should be pleased that Flacco's confidence is healthy. A quarterback without confidence is not going to go very far in the NFL.

Still, could Flacco's confidence be his undoing?

There is a major problem with his statement. He simply stated, "I think I'm the best." That implies that he's already reached the pinnacle of his career—that he has no further mountains to climb.

That's just plain wrong.

Flacco should have said that he will be the best or that he is working to be the best.

One look at Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers should show Flacco that he is far from the best quarterback in the NFL.

Despite this, Flacco possesses the same desired attributes of these three elite quarterbacks. 

Arm strength, accuracy, a good head on his shoulders and even solid athleticism all make Joe Flacco an immensely talented quarterback.

Ravens fans and analysts have been confused about his apparent lack of progress for some time, especially his regression in 2011.

There is no question 2011 was a major regression for Flacco. His stats were down, his completion percentage was a career low, and he struggled to complete even short passes.

What once seemed puzzling now might just make sense.

If Flacco's comments are to be taken seriously, then it seems he is simply content with his current level of play.

That's not to say he doesn't work hard or try to make his team better. By all accounts, Flacco puts in the requisite time in the film room and the weight room, and no one has questioned his work ethic.

Still, when the pinnacle is reached, motivation can be hard to find.

Overtaking a new challenge is key to making progress, and the man at the top has few challenges left to overcome.

Thus, if Flacco really believes he is the best quarterback in the NFL, he might very well believe that he has passed through the gauntlet—the hardest part of his career.

That is simply not the case.

Until he wins a Super Bowl, Flacco will have to continue to fight through the gauntlet.

Simply put, if Flacco really believes what he said in his interview, then Flacco and the Ravens likely won't improve.

The Ravens need a hungry Flacco to finally take the next step.


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