For the first time in his career, Joe Flacco entered training camp as something other than the starting quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens.
Flacco was traded to the Broncos after 11 years in Baltimore, marking the biggest change for the 34-year-old since the Ravens selected him in first round of the 2008 NFL draft.
Even though it’s unusual for him, Flacco said he’s feeling good so far in his new home.
“There is an energy about coming here and an excitement that I feel being with this new team and getting another chance of being a starting quarterback,” Flacco said, via ESPN. “I don't think you can ever take that for granted ... I'm definitely excited about it.”
Flacco was replaced by rookie Lamar Jackson in Baltimore last season after going down with a hip injury, and didn’t return to the starting lineup in the postseason after he was healthy.
The veteran has more than proven himself capable as a starter in the league. He led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, after all. Now, though, he’s ready for a new challenge in Denver — and thinks he has a lot of game left in him.
“Yeah, there's no doubt [I've got something to prove],” Flacco said, via ESPN. “Listen, I think I've got a lot left in the tank. And I feel like I can do a lot more than I've shown in my 11-year career. I'm excited about that.”
Even though it’s early, Flacco has made quite the impression with the Broncos already, too.
“Flacco's a baller,” wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said, via ESPN. “I think we're going to be OK. I like the way he spins it. ... I call him, ‘Pretty Boy’ Flacco. That's his name. He's just smooth.”
Flacco, according to ESPN, ran with the first team during the first day of training camp on Thursday and is expected to be their starting quarterback this fall, despite the team drafting Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in the second round in April.
While he may be the new quarterback in Denver, Flacco said he knows he’s not the most important quarterback within the organization. That honor, naturally, sits with Broncos general manager and Hall of Famer John Elway.
“I grew up watching John Elway,” Flacco said, via ESPN. “And while we're kind of colleagues now on the field, there's still that little bit of kid in you — man, John Elway's standing right next to you. So you try to act as normal as possible and shoot the breeze ... I think it's a really cool opportunity.
“Listen, I know John's 'the man' around here. Hopefully there's room for a couple more people.”
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