After nearly 30 minutes, it was apparent that the theme of the "State of the Ravens" address was about kissing up to quarterback Joe Flacco.
In the weeks leading up to the AFC championship, Flacco had talked about being underappreciated here in Baltimore and was concerned about his role in the offense. Some of the national experts were saying he was nothing more than a clock manager, and you could see it irritated Flacco. Inside The Castle, the coaching staff knew that Flacco hasn't handled criticism well, and they were hoping he continued to grow in that area.
And in case he hadn't, the Ravens were prepared to slobber all over him with love Wednesday.
"The thing I like about Joe -- and I think in the end, in this business, you get judged on one thing: winning -- Joe wins. He continues to win. If one pass was caught, he'd be in the Super Bowl," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. "I think he'll win Super Bowls, and I hope to be a part of them. The thing you cannot knock about Joe is he's a winner."
Huh? Super Bowls? Few players have more than one ring, and it takes just as much luck as it does skill to win a Super Bowl. If Flacco wins one, I'd be happy. If he wins two, he gets a key to the city.
The Ravens also talked about how much Flacco has improved this season, and I haven't seen that. He's still a good quarterback, but inconsistent as a thrower. And he needs to improve his pocket awareness and ball security. Overall, I'd still take him over most QBs in the league.
But Flacco hasn't shown me the skills yet where I need to pucker up and play kiss, kiss. Owner Steve Bisciotti even mentioned Flacco and John Unitas in the same sentence. Come on, man.
I assume the Ravens felt he needed a little love, especially heading into the offseason where they will eventually begin negotiations for a new contract.