Even with Super Bowl win, Flacco will still be same old Joe

That says a lot about his character, because what defines a man is what he does when no one is watching.

His teammates love him and the attention he is now getting.

"It's well-deserved," said tight end Dennis Pitta. "He has taken a lot of criticism over his career for whatever reason, but we've always believed in him. We've known the kind of player that he is. He showed up on the biggest stage and performed. It's unbelievable. He deserves everything."

"I think he has grown by leaps and bounds, week after week after week," said Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell. "He's been winning a lot of games, obviously, throughout his five years. This is a great culmination and the start of a great career."

Then it was off to Disney World for Flacco, part of a hectic schedule that follows. But Flacco isn't a celebrity. He was starstruck after the game Sunday night.

"I think everybody was just having an awesome time," Flacco said. "I went and spent some time with the family and then we went to our post-game party. I got to meet Jay-Z, I got to meet Beyoncé, and that was pretty cool. I don't think that would happen if we would've lost the game."

Asked about his upcoming schedule, Flacco said "You guys know better than I do, probably. I've never been through this before. I anticipate not getting very much [sleep], but it's all for good reason. It was an unbelievable game [Sunday] night, and it was just awesome to be a part of it."

He'll never change. He'll be the same old Joe.

"The biggest thing is the influence at home," Flacco said when asked about being a role model. "Listen to your parents; they've been through a lot. They know what's best for you. Most parents have your best interest at heart and understand how to raise you the right way and bring you up in this world the right way. They want to protect you. I think that's the biggest thing. If you listen to them, you're going to grow up pretty well and have a pretty good life.

"Do that and chase your dreams. Be confident and believe in yourself. None of us get to this point without having confidence in ourselves, and I think that was one of the biggest things instilled in me as a young kid was just that belief in you. I think that goes a really, really long way."

It's typical Joe.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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