Sunday, January 30, 2011

Flacco sounds off on firing of Zorn

Multiple league sources previously have told us that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco opposed the decision to fire quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn, and that Flacco spoke up for the one-and-done effort from the former Redskins head coach.
Now, Flacco has gone on the record to make his displeasure known.
“I’m not happy about it, and they know I’m not happy about it,” Flacco told Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.
As we explained earlier today, the perception is that the Ravens fired the quarterbacks coach because they weren’t happy with the performance of the quarterback.
“I also feel like a little bit like I’m being attacked,” Flacco said.  “You fire the quarterback coach.  Usually when your fire a position coach, it’s because you’re not really happy with how that position did.  And when I look back on my season and our season as a team, I mean, we won 13 games.  I felt like I had a pretty good year and you’re firing the quarterback coach?  It’s kind of an attack on me, I feel like.
“You know, it is what it is.  It’s not that big of a deal for me to feel like it.  I’m not happy about it.  They know that I’m not happy about it.  It’s not news to them.  They know I’m not happy about it, and my feelings aren’t going to change.  I’m not going to be happy about it, for a long time.  This year will be what it is.  We’re going to be successful this year.  I would have just liked him to be a part of it.  He would have liked to be a part of it.  And I think it would have been good for him to be a part of it.”
The fact that Flacco feels that way is bad news for the Ravens.  The fact that Flacco would say so publicly is worse.
“I’m disappointed and they know I’m disappointed,” Flacco said.  “I don’t think it was a good decision, and they know that.  I expressed that throughout the whole time it was going on, I expressed how much I didn’t think it would be good for us.  My opinion isn’t going to change.
“I think Jim was a great coach, I think he was great for our team.  I think he was great for me.  That’s how I feel about it.”
The numbers don’t lie.  Flacco’s performance improved in 2010, with career highs in passing yardage, touchdowns, and passer rating.  He also had a career low in interceptions.
We generally believe that issues of this nature should be handled privately between player and team.  By taking it public, Flacco has revealed the existence of a rift between himself and the coaching staff.  It’s the last thing the Ravens need with a lockout looming, given that they’ll need Flacco to be ready and willing to organize and preside over player-conducted workouts.
And now we know why the Ravens moved quickly on Friday to issue a statement disputing a report that the feared Zorn would become insubordinate.  Apart from ensuring that they didn’t burn bridges with Zorn, the Ravens didn’t want to do anything else to tick off the best quarterback the franchise has ever had.

author:  Mike Florio

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