Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco once said that he didn’t know what former teammate Ray Lewis was talking about 90 percent of the time during the linebacker’s famed pregame speeches. Lewis’ latest comments, however, are pretty easy to understand.
Making an appearance Thursday on the FoxSports1 show "Speak for Yourself," Lewis questioned the passion of the quarterback that he spent his final five seasons praising.
Asked what is wrong with Flacco, who is one of the lowest-rated quarterbacks in the NFL this season, Lewis said, “I’ll tell you what I do know. There’s something called talent, right? You see it a dime a dozen. And then there’s something called being passionate about what you do, about really what you do. Me being around it. Gifted? Absolutely. Passionate about what he do? I’ve never seen that. I don’t know what that looks like.”
Flacco’s leadership and demeanor were questioned regularly early in his career. But that talk was quieted when Flacco led the Ravens to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, culminating one of the best postseasons ever for a quarterback. Lewis retired following that season.
With Flacco in the midst of one of his worst seasons as a pro, he has been facing more and more criticism in recent weeks. Lewis accused Flacco of “always isolating himself to go sit on the bench. Never talking to anybody after a big play, a bad play, whatever it is.”
He also called on the more vocal Ravens on the offensive side of the ball, like wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Mike Wallace, to bring the passion out of Flacco.
“I don’t know how many times you will hear somebody just really go out on a limb to defend, ‘He’s the greatest teammate I’ve ever had.’ I don’t know how many times you’d hear that, right?” Lewis said of Flacco. “Maybe it’s because his personality just isn’t that personality. 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. There has to be something that’s bigger than [you].”