NFL

Why It IS Joe Flacco’s Job to Mentor Broncos QB Drew Lock

Joe Flacco is a 34-year-old Super Bowl-winning quarterback. His experience with climbing the ladder, proving doubters wrong, and carving out a long career in an unforgiving sport like football could be valuable.

As such, he is an ideal candidate to help mentor a young quarterback like Drew Lock as he just enters the league and could use a mentor to lean on. If Flacco’s recent comments are to be believed, however, he may not be up for the job.

“Listen, I have so many things to worry about…” 

This, according to USA Today, is what Joe Flacco had to say when asked about his possible role as a leader for his first-year teammate.

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

In some ways, he is right. Although Flacco may be broken down, he is 34 years old. Despite other quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Drew Brees proving that a quarterback can play into his forties, this is no guarantee. On paper, Flacco doesn’t have to be a teacher if he’s going out there to play good football. He’s an aging quarterback on a new team. Going into week one he is the starter.

However, as Flacco learned last season after being replaced by Lamar Jackson, his status as the starter can be finite. While it may not benefit him to help the competition at his position, if something goes wrong it would benefit the team for Flacco to step up, and he hasn’t shut the door on a relationship with Lock.

“I hope (Lock) does learn from me because that means we’re out there and we’re slinging it around and having a lot of fun…”

Joe Flacco does cite the need to figure out his own game with a new team, especially after his Ravens career ended with a hip injury, one that is notoriously hard for athletes across any sport to come back from. However, even if the two are in different stages of their career, it does not mean that Flacco and Lock can’t learn together.

Although Flacco does have a Super Bowl under his built, he’s rarely had a season where he put up superstar numbers. While this can be a criticism of him, it can also be a perfect way for Flacco to show a young quarterback that sometimes it doesn’t take superstar statistics to perform at a winning level.

Sometimes, it is good enough to show up when it matters. It is, in some ways, a similar dynamic to Eli Manning and Daniel Jones’s on the Giants. 

Is the mentor quarterback that important?

Some quarterbacks never reach the levels that Joe Flacco has reached and some have reached greater heights. But they still find time to be there for the young quarterback. Justin Terranova of the New York Post commented on his belief that Eli Manning, who has two Super Bowls despite similar criticisms of his talent, was believed to be treating his possible replacement, Daniel Jones, with respect and mentorship. 

Results of a quarterback mentor can be mixed, and in some ways, Flacco is right. Lock needs to take it in from all over, not just him. Flacco has his own game to worry about and, theoretically, may have many years ahead of him.

Still, this does not mean that he needs to shut down all extracurricular communication with his rookie. The NFL is an unpredictable and unforgiving league. The fact is Lock may be one play away from needing all the mentorship he can get.