The 2018 regular season campaign starts just a few short days. There have been a few key items that have become increasingly apparent over the course of the offseason and preseason schedule. Chiefly, the cementing of Joe Flacco as Baltimore’s starting and premier signal caller.
I don’t put much stock in to preseason statistics for a number of reasons, chiefly, the limited playbook and gumption many starters and returning player showcase. But, that being said, in his limited snaps, Flacco has shined. That is not a knock on the other two quarterbacks further down Baltimore’s depth chart who have each showcased their value. But it is safe to say that Flacco is playing out of his mind. Readers, you will have to excuse the 2012 post-season flashbacks of Joe playing for a contract stories that are sure to surface — looking at you @GMFB.
This may be a contract year for Joe Cool, but this is also the mot pressure to perform Flacco has had since we brought in Ryan Mallet. Those factors may contribute to the rise in stock for Joe but one of the key factors is his health. Over the last few seasons Flacco has suffered a Miriam of injuries that have limited his performance.
Healthy Joe looks hungry to say the least. But what about the other two play-callers on the roster?
Robert Griffin III (RG3) and Lamar Jackson. Both quarterbacks have flashed this offseason and both have struggled. I would postulate that they struggles for different reasons.
For Jackson, the last pick in the first round of the NFL draft, he has struggled to find his footing in the NFL. Many of the electrifying throws and and highlight reel mainstays over the past few years have a difficult time at the professional level. The learning curve is steeper, more demanding and competition is of a much higher caliber.
I think Jackson’s adjustment to the NFL is about on-par with what my expectations were in drafting the Louisville product. In breaking down Jackson’s play over the preseason (so far) it’s been a mixed bag. There has been good, bad and ugly. Some of which has been his fault, and other instances have been brought about by the lack of talent around him and in our OL in general (that’s another article for another time).
Robert Griffin III has been much more consisten. RG3 has shown the ability to work with the IIs and IIIs around him and still gain yards and make plays, something Jackson has failed to show. This was highlighted in the recent Colts preseason game at several points.
The conundrum, now, is that the Ravens have limited space on their 53-man roster. Cutting from 90 to 53 is going to hurt. We already have some of the 12 draft picks, a number of UDFA’s and seasoned players on the bubble which will make the cuts more contentious than usual.
I argue that we should carry three quarterbacks into the regular season. Something the organization hasn’t done since 2009. While his takes away a roster spot from another loaded position group.
Ok, before you tweet something crazy, hear me out. Not only does RG3 represent our best chance of winning games sans Flacco (god forbid), he also provides a valuable mentor to Jackson who could learn a lot from a former NFL OMVP with a similar play style.
When looking out at the future of the organization, I believe taking a three headed dragon in to the regular season would set our team up for the best potential future and go a long way in bringing our young, raw, quarterback along in his development.