"For Joe to be decisive with the football is the key to his success," former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann said. "Joe has been through the adjustment from Cam being gone to a little bit of a different philosophy with Caldwell. Same plays, but the approach is different. It's about creating rhythm and timing and building confidence for Joe."
- Top 10 memorable moments from Ray Lewis' career
- Ravens have full house at Friday's practice
- Paul Kruger, Ravens' sack leader, fell one short of goal
- Ravens 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 6 [Pictures]
- Mike Preston grades the Ravens' 26-6 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2
- Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 26-6 win over the Steelers
See more photos »
"He's steadily improving," Caldwell said. "Great attitude, that's the thing I love about this guy. Oftentimes, I think people kind of misunderstand him. They don't understand how much fire he has in him, but he has real desire."
What Flacco's not thinking about is his unresolved contract situation.
After Flacco declined the Ravens' lucrative offer in August that would have paid him as one of the NFL's highest compensated quarterbacks when talks hit an impasse, discussions were tabled until after the season. Barring a breakthrough, though, Flacco could wind up as the Ravens' franchise player during the offseason.
"I don’t really look at it that way," Flacco said when asked if he thought he had hurt or helped his contract status with his play this season. "I go out there, and I play football. You try to lead thisteam to victories. That’s what we are trying to do that right now.
"That’s all I’m concerned about is making a playoff run and making the Super Bowl. All that other stuff will take care of itself. Whatever happens, happens. It’s not really that big of a deal at the end of the day.”
From Flacco's perspective, the Ravens have discovered a good place as an offense and he's optimistic about the immediate future.
Ranked 16th in the NFL in total offense, 11th in rushing, 15th in passing and 10th in scoring with an average of 24.9 points per contest, the Ravens have plenty of options on offense.
They're headlined by Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice and have speed outside with Smith.
"I think it's still a work in progress," Flacco said of the offense. "I think the biggest things are going out there and working with speed and being consistent and getting everybody around us to get going and get up to that level that we need to win the Super Bowl.
"I think that's going to show over the next four weeks, five weeks. I think we're all going to be playing at that level. That's the job of the quarterback. It's not only to go out there and put points on the board for your team, but it's getting everybody going and excited about every single down. I think we are at that point."
In nine career playoff games, Flacco has a 5-4 record and has completed 54.3 percent of his throws for 1,532 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 70.4 quarterback rating.
That ordinary track record in the postseason hasn't eroded his teammates' confidence in him.
"Joe plays tough, he's a smart quarterback and he's resilient," Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda said. "He's our leader out there. We'll be riding him for sure."