You Can't Blame Joe Flacco For Looking Out For No. 1 — And Not Drew Lock

Joe Flacco said something surprising: the truth.

The Denver Broncos quarterback didn’t share a white lie while meeting with reporters on Monday. When asked whether he’d spend time mentoring quarterback Drew Lock, Flacco reminded the media — and, by extension, the fans — that players play and coaches coach. He will not be taking extra effort to put Broncos second-round pick Drew Lock under his wing.

“I got so many things to worry about,” Flacco said, via NFL.com. “I’m trying to go out there and play good football. I’m trying to go out there and play the best football of my life. As far as a time constraint and all that stuff, I’m not worried about developing guys or any of that. That is what it is, and like I said, I hope he does develop. But I don’t look at that as my job. My job is to go win football games for this football team.”

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Could Flacco have gone through the motions and pretended like he’s going to mentor Lock? Sure. But folks are always complaining that the NFL doesn’t have enough personality — and that the NBA develops its player into influencers. Flacco went beyond the white lies, and showed a fiery, competitive edge. Now he’s getting flack for it.

It’s disappointing Flacco doesn’t consider Lock’s development a part of his job. But it’s also fair. Flacco gets paid to be a starting quarterback — not the quarterbacks coach. Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello is in charge of installing the offense and developing the quarterback talent.

If Lock is a resourceful player, he’ll study Flacco’s best habits, copy them and find ways to surpass him. Frankly, Lock shouldn’t need Flacco’s help to get past Flacco, a perennial 20-touchdown-per-season performer.

>Related>FTW Film Room: Why NFL teams should be wary of drafting Drew Lock in the first round

Flacco wasn’t taking the cliched nice-guy approach. He was taking a real approach. Flacco surely knows how much time he’ll have to spend learning the Broncos playbook and building chemistry with his offensive skill players. Flacco is going through the learning process, just like Lock. And after Flacco saw Lamar Jackson supplant him in 2018 — and in a system that was entirely familiar to Flacco — he is surely even more reticent than ever to lend a helping hand.

Flacco also has $18.5 million salary to protect. Flacco’s earnings in 2019 are not guaranteed at all. If the Broncos want to cut him, they’ll pay him for the services he provided, but won’t have to release him with pay or dead cap. It would be swift and easy.

Flacco thinks he’s a starting caliber quarterback, and so he’s wise to cling to that role, even if it makes him look like a jerk. When he can’t start any longer, he can begin to be a mentor as a backup — or he can retire. In the meantime, it’s perfectly fair for Flacco to get protective of his job. And it’s perfectly fair for a quarterback to leave the coaching to the quarterbacks coach, the offensive coordinator and the head coach.

As long as Flacco isn’t intentionally interfering with Lock’s development, the veteran’s approach should be just fine. And considering how he dealt with the situation in Baltimore, Flacco’s approach should also come as no surprise. Denver picked Flacco and Lock. They’ve got to figure out how to make those personalities work.

Source : https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/05/broncos-joe-flacco-drew-lock-mentor

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