Flacco defends his mechanics
QB has more INTs than TD passes this season
The good news for Joe Flacco was that he broke an 11-quarter drought without a touchdown pass when wide receiver Mike Wallace turned a quick slant into a 95-yard score in the first quarter of the Ravens’ 21-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
The bad news was that he had thrown an interception on an earlier possession. After eight games, he has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (six) this season.
On third-and-10 at Pittsburgh’s 22-yard line, Flacco took a snap in the shotgun formation and rolled to his right to avoid pressure coming from his left. While moving, he lofted a throw off his back foot and across his body to tight end Dennis Pitta, standing in the middle of the field. The floater was picked off by rookie cornerback Artie Burns.
In the end, the gaffe did not prove too costly, but the play was another example of the strong-armed Flacco not planting his left foot into the grass and throwing with authority.
Still, Flacco disputed that the interception was a result of poor mechanics.
“It wasn’t a mechanics issue as much as it was just a bad decision,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I was hot on the left side. So I had to move away from it, and there’s nothing you can do about that besides throw the ball into the ground, really.”
Flacco’s fundamentals and technique seem to have regressed since he posted career highs in yards (3,986) and touchdowns (27) in 2014 under former offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. His 6.2 yards per passing attempt this season rank as the third lowest among starting quarterbacks.
An injury-plagued offensive line has put Flacco under regular duress, affecting his comfort level in the pocket. But Flacco insisted that his mechanics were not a problem in Sunday’s game.
“I actually thought they were really good this week,” he said. “I felt like our line did a good job, and I was able to hang in there.” Joe Flacco said his interception Sunday “wasn’t a mechanics issue as much as it was just a bad decision.” He’s averaging 6.2 yards per attempt this season. Injury report: Starting right guard Marshal Yanda has sat out back-toback practice sessions. Yanda, who missed two games this season because of a shoulder injury, started in Sunday’s win, but if he can’t play Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns, Ryan Jensen likely would take his place.
In addition to Yanda, outside linebackers Elvis Dumervil (foot) and rookie Kamalei Correa (thigh), tight end Crockett Gillmore and cornerback Shareece Wright did not practice for the second consecutive day.
Center Jeremy Zuttah was not on the field during the portion of practice open to the media, but he was not on the team’s injury report, meaning he did indeed participate. Correa on the mend: Correa breezed through St. Louis High in Honolulu and Boise State without suffering a serious injury. So dealing with a thigh injury that kept him from playing Sunday is unfamiliar for the second-round draft pick. Correa finished his career at Boise State with 27 consecutive starts.
Correa, 22, has three tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup so far, and had earned the first start of his career in the Ravens’ 24-16 loss to the New York Jets on Oct. 23.
But two days later, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker walked off the practice field after appearing to suffer the injury during special teams drills. Without commenting on the specific nature of the injury, he said he has not been told it is a long-term concern. End zone: The Thursday night game means both teams will unveil their Color Rush uniforms. The Ravens’ version is bright purple with gold accents that Sports Illustrated ranked No. 18 among all teams’ Color Rush offerings. Flacco said he’s looking forward to donning the new threads. “I think they’re really cool,” he said. The Browns’ all-brown uniform was ranked No. 25. … The Ravens terminated the contract of quarterback David Fales and re-signed guard Jarell Broxton and cornerback Robertson Daniel to the practice squad Tuesday. Broxton and Daniel have spent time on the practice squad this season, and Daniel was on the active roster for two weeks before he was waived Saturday to make room for strong safety Matt Elam. Fales, who played at San Jose State and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, had been on the practice squad since Sept. 6. … Cleveland practiced for the second consecutive day without a pair of starters in cornerback Jamar Taylor (groin) and left tackle Joe Thomas (knee).