He walked onto the football team at Wisconsin, his home state university, as a tight end, but outgrew the position and moved to offensive tackle. In a program known for producing NFL offensive linemen, Wagner protected future Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson's blind side and created holes for future Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball.
However, the reality is that the deals are vastly different and the original reports about Kaepernick's financial windfall are fairly misleading. Kaepernick's contract is extremely team-friendly and operates in more of a pay-as-you-go manner than the Ravens' structure for Flacco.
For half a decade, the Ravens spoiled their faithful fans. With Joe Flacco under center and John Harbaugh wearing the head coach¿s headset, the Ravens went to the playoffs five years in a row, the only team to accomplish that feat over that span.
Throughout the NFL this season, backup quarterbacks have gotten opportunities to prove themselves after injuries or ineptitude sent a dozen starters to the bench. But here in Baltimore, Tyrod Taylor patiently waits behind Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who has never missed a snap due to injury in his six seasons in the league.
You know how you wake up on Sunday morning and enjoy the challenge of trying to complete the crossword puzzle or the Sudoku in the newspaper? That's how NFL defensive coordinators and coaches like Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin when they wake up in the morning feel about the read-option offense, which puzzled many teams during the 2012 season.
Every morning, Monday through Friday, blogger Matt Vensel will hook you up with reading material -- mostly on the Ravens but with some other Baltimore sports stuff, too -- to skim through as you slug down coffee and slack off at the start of your workday.
Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens passed their way through three opponents in the first four weeks of the season, in the process soaring up the charts in many offensive categories. But in their past three games, the offense has not been as effective, particularly when it comes to those big chunk passing plays that make touchdown drives easier.
Curtis Painter is all too familiar with the fleeting nature of job security in the NFL. That's why he's not putting too much stock into the sentiment that he has outperformed Tyrod Taylor in the Ravens' first two preseason games.