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Ravens' Joe Flacco defends himself from wife’s criticism of effort at wide receiver

In 11 years with the Ravens and in the NFL, Joe Flacco has caught only two passes for a grand total of 35 yards. And that’s OK, because the quarterback gets paid to throw the ball, not catch it.

This season, Flacco has been lining up at wide receiver more frequently as the offense has been giving rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson snaps here and there under center or in the shotgun. Flacco’s attitude about the tactic can be best described as indifferent as he does not get off the line of scrimmage and usually just stands still until the play is over.

Flacco’s lack of interest in even pretending to make an effort caught the attention of one of his biggest fans — his wife, Dana.

“I think I’ve told a few of you guys, but my wife gave me crap the one day and told me I needed to look more interested out there,” he said Wednesday. “But I’m just trying to stay out of it. I’m not comfortable out there. I haven’t been out there in a very long time. So I don’t need to try to get too creative. I mess around in practice a little bit, but that’s about it.”

Flacco has a point. There aren’t too many 6-foot-6, 245-pound wide receivers in the league, and he is not earning $12 million in base salary this season for his ability to run a double move against a Cover 2 zone.

Flacco said he has not lined up at wideout since he started playing football “in seventh or eighth grade.” Asked whether he will have a chance to make his first catch since Oct. 24, 2011, he joked, “I sure hope not.”

“Hey, if it needs to be done, it needs to be done,” he said. “But like I said, I sure hope I don’t have to do that.”

Running back Alex Collins speculated that there’s a method to Flacco’s laissez-faire approach to playing receiver.

“He’s just luring defenses to sleep,” he said. “I know he said he was afraid earlier, but he might be catching some passes if they’re not paying attention to him. So that’s a good thing. Let him keep tricking them over there.”

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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