The start of Denver Broncos training camp has fans excited for a new season. The 2018 season was a debacle. Changes were needed in Broncos Country, and John Elway spent the offseason making some big ones. Along with a new coaching staff, Joe Flacco’s presence at quarterback has been an interesting change.
As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio Podcast (ApplePodcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher), there is a different feel to the start of camp, and Flacco is a big part of that. When Case Keenum came to Denver every day was about him proving he belonged. Flacco doesn’t feel that pressure.
After the first five days of #Broncos training camp, @AdamMalnati16 & I revisit some of the things @MaseDenver previewed. On the @MileHighReport Radio Podcast, we also look back & what to look forward to as camp continues. @ApplePodcasts: https://t.co/jDeXPawgsP— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) July 24, 2019
As Ian and I discussed the difference, something stood out to me. It was something I hear Ryan Edwards talk about on Andrew Mason’s podcast, Broncos Audio Zone. Flacco isn’t concerned about wowing the crowd. He seems to have a routine that he follows. He is working on specific skills, and focusing on what he needs to focus on to get better.
That all stems from comfort. Comfort in a role that he has possessed his entire career. Flacco is clearly the Broncos starter. The way he carries himself, the way he practices, the way he interacts with the media, all seem to exude a confidence that comes from having been, “the guy,” his whole career.
This isn’t about whether or not Joe Cool is still a capable starter in the NFL. The judgement isn’t that he will be an “elite” QB in 2019. However, the comfort he has in being the No. 1 guy is refreshing.
Do fans want to see “wow” plays from Flacco? Absolutely! Big plays to his receivers like Courtland Sutton, or tight end Noah Fant will make every fan happy. But watching him operate is not about doing more than he has to. He doesn’t need to do that. He wants to prove to his teammates, coaches and the organization that he is guy and his approach/demeanor are a testament to that.
Flacco needs to be the leader on offense. In the first week of camp, he has been. It may not be flashy, and it may not be over the top, but it seems to be exactly what the Broncos need right now.