Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A; with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest is quarterback Joe Flacco, who tossed a career-high four touchdowns in Sunday's 31-7 thrashing of the Chicago Bears. Flacco discussed the pressure of being a franchise quarterback, the impact of his sprained right ankle and the worst nickname he's been given.
Question: What is your reaction when you hear the phrase "Joe Flacco, franchise quarterback"?
Answer: I don't know, I'm just happy to be where I am and just trying to continually get better. I'm always trying to get better and cement myself here and cement our team. When I think of a franchise quarterback, I think of a guy that has been around awhile and has led his team to a lot of victories and the playoffs and things like that. Obviously, I'm only in my second year, but we're trying to make a name for ourselves around here and we're trying to have good teams. The most important thing is to go into each game and approach it as a challenge. I want to win as many games as I can. They can start talking about all of that other stuff after your career is over. I'm fortunate to be where I am.
Q: After dealing with the likes of Kyle Boller, Elvis Grbac and Chris Redman, this city has been starved for a franchise quarterback. Does that place a lot of pressure on you?
A: No. I wasn't around during those times, and truthfully, it doesn't matter to me what happened in the past. They've always had good teams around here, and I was fortunate enough to come onto a good team and just do my job. That's what I want to continue to do and help my team win football games. I definitely don't feel any added pressure because of past situations.
Q: Was too much made about your recent dip in passing numbers being related to your sprained right ankle?
A: Yeah, that had nothing to do with it. I've felt like I've played well all throughout the season. Obviously, we had our ups and downs on offense, and obviously, there are a couple of bad plays that I would want back. But overall, I think I've played pretty well all season, and I'll stick to that. We have two games left to go out there and get ourselves a playoff spot, and it's going to take us all playing well in order to do that. My ankle's felt great. I hurt it early on in the Minnesota game, and obviously, it didn't affect me too much in that game. So the ankle has not affected my play. If people want to say that, I'll just sit back and shake my head because that's not the truth. Like I said, we've hit our bumps and fought through them, and it's up to us to go out there and continue to get better and win some football games.
Q: Do quarterbacks get too much credit when things go right and too much blame when they don't?
A: Oh yeah. I think that's the way it is and that's the way it's going to be forever. I'd rather get all of the blame than get all the credit because it's so far from the truth. In order to have a good team - in my mind - it all starts up front with the offensive linemen and the defensive linemen. If those guys are playing well, then you've got a good shot to play well as a team.
Q: How do quarterbacks remember the seemingly difficult terminology that goes into calling a play in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage?
A: Once you get used to how you call the offense, you just get a picture in your head and you don't have to piece it together. It all just kind of comes together, and you see it as one. When you're first learning the offense, it's kind of tough. You've got to pick it apart and break it down. But once you really know the offense, it just all kind of pops into your head at one time, and you rarely have to think about it too much. It's like riding a bike.
A: Matt Katula and Todd Heap. I don't know what order that would be in, but they're definitely better than I am. They play more than me. I can hit the ball OK, but I don't always score great.
Q: What's the best and worst nicknames you've ever had?
A: The best nicknames? I have no idea. Whatever they come up with now is fine with me. The worst nickname? My brother was saying they used to call me "Melonhead" and stuff like that when I was younger. I had a big head, and I was a skinny kid. But I'm not a really big nickname guy. People have called me "Flack" or "Joe" and that was it.
Q: What is your go-to meal and is there a food you won't eat?
A: I don't have a go-to meal just because I'm living on my own, and my mom doesn't cook for me anymore. There's nothing that I really eat on game day that's too special besides maybe a couple pancakes and bacon in the pre-game meal. And I'm usually willing to try anything. If I don't like it, I don't know if I'll try it again, but I'm usually pretty willing to try everything. There might be a couple things out there that I'm scared of, but I don't know what they are. If it's too exotic, I'll probably be too scared of it. If it's on the edge, I might try it. We'll see. You might be able to talk me into it.
Q: What is your all-time favorite movie and why?
A: My all-time favorite movie is probably "Gladiator." It's a little bit of a revenge movie. I like to watch revenge movies and guys live for something that they believe in. He was obviously fighting for a greater cause in the movie, and he ended up where he wanted to be. I've seen the movie a decent amount. Nothing crazy. Probably a little bit more than I can count on two hands.
Q: Describe the ideal date with Joe Flacco.
A: Well, it's pretty boring. I've had a girlfriend for a while, and pretty much all we do is go out and get something to eat, see a movie and then come back and lay around and watch some TV.