OWINGS MILLS - Is the best of Joe Flacco yet to come? He has already been a Super Bowl MVP. He has already won 10 playoff games, and he has been to the postseason six of his seven years in the NFL.
Yet at age 30, Flacco is carrying a quiet sense of confidence around Ravens training camp that suggests he could be headed for his best season. He seems comfortable with everything, and looks sharp at every practice. He seems unfazed by having his fourth offensive coordinator in four seasons, Marc Trestman. Watching rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee injury) miss six straight practices hasn’t bothered Flacco either.
Flacco has been in so many big games, and seen so many different situations, that he feels the 2015 season won’t bring much he can’t handle. He’s hitting what should be his prime years, and seems energized by it.
“It’s funny – but I feel like I’m starting to finally mature,” said Flacco following Thursday’s practice. “I think there is definitely a physical peak for people, and it’s probably a little bit later than most people would believe.
“Mentally, I think there’s no reason that you can’t get better, and better, and better. And at my position, that’s a lot of it.”
Flacco set career highs for touchdown passes (27) and passing yards (3,986) last season. A 30-touchdown, 4,000-yard season would not appear out of Flacco’s reach, not with the confidence Trestman has expressed in Flacco.
“I’ve always viewed (Flacco) as a great player,” Trestman said. “I still think every good and great player has he desire to push themselves, and I think Joe is one of those guys.”
Flacco’s starting offensive line returns intact, so he should have the time he needs to make plays, plus a strong running attack led by Justin Forsett, coming off his career-best season (1,266 yards).
Asked if he was still getting better, Flacco smiled slightly and said, “Yes, I sure hope so. I feel that way.”
If Flacco is even better, so are the Ravens’ chances of returning to the playoffs.
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