Ravens QB Flacco grows into leadership role

Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:32pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - He is the "Cool Joe" that makes the Baltimore Ravens go, and in Sunday's Super Bowl quarterback Joe Flacco could take a giant step toward assuming the team's leadership role from retiring linebacker Ray Lewis.

The strong-armed quarterback, quiet but brimming with confidence, lifted his game in the postseason, throwing eight touchdowns without an interception and earning consideration as one of the game's top quarterbacks.

The only National Football League quarterbacks to notch more touchdowns without an interception in a postseason were former San Francisco 49ers Hall of Famers Steve Young (nine TDs in 1994) and Joe Montana (11 TDs in 1989).

"He's been doing what he's been doing all year long for us," fullback Vonta Leach told Reuters at Tuesday's Media Day at the Superdome.

"A lot of people are making a big deal now just because it's the playoffs, but Joe has been leading for our team all year long. He's just been Flacco."

None other than Lewis himself recently anointed Flacco as the team's next 'General', but the linebacker said he hoped the Ravens quarterback would work on becoming a more vocal leader.

Flacco, true to his nature, said he would lead in his own way.

"No, I haven't worked on it," he told reporters. "Don't know if I agree with it. There are a lot of different ways to lead, and the bottom line is it's about motivating your players to get the best out of them and having belief that you can go do it in any situation.   Continued...

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco answers questions from journalists during Media Day for the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, Louisiana January 29, 2013. The San Francisco 49ers will meet the Ravens in the game on February 3. REUTERS/Sean Gardner