OWINGS MILLS – Joe Flacco on Friday expressed disappointment that Ray Lewis would question Flacco’s passion for the game, but he dismissed the criticism and said he’s dealt with questions about his personality throughout his career.
“It’s a little surprising coming from Ray,” Flacco said after Friday’s light workout, adding that he has dealt with questions about his calm, stoic demeanor since “back before high school.”
“When things are going good, it’s questioned as if it’s a good thing,” Flacco added, “and when things aren’t going as well as you might like them to be, it’s always a question as to whether my personality is that of one that fits what an NFL quarterback should be.”
“It’s not anything I’m not used to,” Flacco said, “but it is a little different coming from Ray.”
On Thursday, Lewis was asked by Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock about Flacco and his inconsistent season.
“Gifted? Absolutely. Passionate about what he do? I've never seen that," Lewis told Fox Sports. "I don't know what that looks like."
“Maybe it’s because his personality just isn’t that personality,” Lewis added. “He’s not a rah-rah guy. He won’t say much. But, in the game of football, there has to be some burning fire behind you.”
Flacco and Lewis played together for five seasons, and Flacco's postseason run in 2012 is the biggest reason that the Ravens and Lewis won the Super Bowl that season,
As Flacco spoke in the Ravens locker room after practice Friday, several players voiced their support for Flacco with comments such as “I got your back Joe!” and “Leader!”
There was some laughter, but it was clear Lewis’ comments struck a nerve.
Addressing Lewis’ remarks after practice on Friday, coach John Harbaugh said, “That’s a passionate guy talking. I think everybody expresses their passion in different ways. “
“Every personality is different,” Harbaugh added. “Every single guy does their thing in a different way. But every single guy here cares deeply. And works very hard. And wants to be great at what they do.”
“As a leader you have to understand no two people are the same. No two people react the same way, express themselves the same way. Everybody does it a little differently.”
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