Joe Flacco discusses his return to Jets, signing with Eagles, and relationship with Mike White

·4 min read
Joe Flacco practice podium Jets hoodie
Joe Flacco practice podium Jets hoodie

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco returned to the Jets on Monday after a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, and spoke to reporters at his first of practice with the team on Friday afternoon.

"Listen, I'm excited about it," Flacco said. "Have a lot of great relationships up here with players, with people that are in the building. Any time you're looking at an opportunity to play football, it's exciting."

Flacco played for the Jets last season, playing in four games for the team when Sam Darnold was sidelined. He chose to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles on March 25, and talked about his decision to go there instead of staying with the Jets.

"Maybe I had an opportunity to come here, maybe not," Flacco said. "I don't know, I felt like Philly was probably the one chance, I felt like they were really my opportunity. At the same time, Sam was still here, the draft hadn't happened yet. I probably didn't need to make a decision super quick about it, but I felt like I had to in that moment, I wanted to keep myself. I thought that was a good situation down there; I think it was a good situation down there.

"I had to make a decision without really having all the info, and went with that. There were a lot of positives besides just the team down there and all that. Just with it being close to home and being able to live at home, keeping your kids in school and all that. Those things weighed into my decision at that moment."

Flacco hadn't played in a game for the Eagles this season, as second-year QB Jalen Hurts won the starting job. The Eagles also traded for backup Gardner Minshew from the Jacksonville Jaguars right before the season started.

The 36-year-old QB also touched on what it felt like to get traded, and how lucky he is to get traded somewhere familiar.

"Listen, theoretically, you can be traded anywhere," Flacco said. "So to be traded up to a team and organization you feel comfortable with, a place that's still only a little over an hour away from home, I feel fortunate to have it happen that way."

Flacco was asked if he thinks he'll be ready to start the team's Week 9 game against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night (Nov. 1), and he said he thought he could learn the offense "relatively quickly."

"I mean I've been in similar, I guess you can say the same offense slash similar offense," Flacco said. "You know there's always little wrinkles that are different in terms of how you're calling formations and motions, and what you're calling certain concepts. There's a lot of familiarity with it, it's just a process of getting yourself back up to speed with it, and seeing what they've installed and what they really like to run and all those kind of things."

Last season, Flacco's first appearance with the Jets came on a Thursday night when Darnold left injured. He went 2-for-2 for 16 yards in the 37-28 loss, and told reporters that was his first experience in the offense all season.

"Last year I hadn't called a single play of the offense that we had ran until I got in there on a Thursday night against the Denver Broncos," Flacco said. "That was the first time I ever called a play in that offense at all. I couldn't practice all of training camp, and then I think I practiced a week maybe and it was just scout team. I've played long enough to be able to kind of adapt as much as I can on the fly and be ready as quick as possible."

Mike White will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Bengals, after coming into the game for Zach Wilson against the New England Patriots. White went 20-for-32 passing with 202 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Flacco said it was good for White to already play in an NFL game.

"I'm glad I can be here to help as much as I can with him," Flacco said. "I'm sure he's excited and got a lot of feelings going into this game. Obviously, it's probably good for him in the sense that he got to play a little bit last week, isn't just being thrown to the fire right away. He got to get his feet wet and feel what it's like to be part of an NFL game.

"Developed a great relationship with Mike last year, so I'm happy to be here as any help as I can."