Joe Flacco's mediocre play over the past few NFL seasons finally caught up with him when the Ravens pulled the trigger on dynamic dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson at the bottom of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The move, whether intended to motivate or remove Flacco, was a jaw dropping one.
And, whilst Jackson is a developmental prospect who certainly won't threaten the former Super Bowl MVP's spot atop the depth chart any time soon, his presence in the building is a clear signal of the Ravens' future plans.
Evidently, those plans don't include Flacco.
But, that doesn't mean the veteran signal caller has a frosty attitude towards his young teammate. Quite the opposite, in fact.
In typically stoic fashion, Flacco brushed off rumours that he had a grudge towards Jackson and noted that the former Heisman Trophy winner's addition to the roster won't change how he approaches his job.
"I don't know if I was surprised," Flacco told reporters at OTA's Thursday. "Obviously, when you pick a quarterback -- when you pick anybody in the first round -- it means something. I don't know what that means. I don't know exactly what it is.
"But that's not my job to worry about what it is. My job like I said is to keep my approach exactly what it's been for the last 10 years and help our team go win football games. And we got a couple young tight ends, a lot of new wide receivers. My job is to get these guys on the same page and us operating on a high level."
“Everybody wants to act like I’m holding some grudge, and that’s not how it is,” the 33-year-old said. “I think you guys have been around me for a long time and you know the way I am. We welcome Lamar here with open arms, and that’s the same for me.”
Both the coaching staff, and front office, have reiterated time and time again that Flacco is still their starter, but there's no longer a cushion of comfort should his play continue to decline or go through startling ups and downs.
Jackson is waiting in the wings, as well as Robert Griffin III, to take the field and show what they can do.
There is also a very real case for suggesting that Jackson should take some playing time away from the longtime starter and be used on designed QB runs at times this season, even if Flacco returns to his best.
For now, Flacco remains in control of the QB1 spot, but it will be hugely interesting to see how the Ravens manage the quarterback room should he go through some of the same slumps as he did last season.
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