Zorn Focusing On Flacco’s Mobility

Joe Flacco’s movement in the pocket can help decrease the 36 sacks he absorbed in 2009.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Friday, June 18th, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

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Much of Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Jim Zorn’s focus during organized team activities was on Joe Flacco’s mobility within the pocket.

Last season, Flacco absorbed 36 sacks, which was 13th-worst in the NFL.  Of course, some of those sacks can be attributed to a young offensive line, but several might have been avoided with a step here or there.

“A lot about mobility and making sure you can stay in a position to move,” Flacco said when asked about Zorn’s emphasis.  ”Making sure you stay in a position to be compact with the ball, get place-to-place with as little movement as possible and be explosive.”

Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger sheds tacklers with his hulking frame, whereas someone like the Patriots’ Tom Brady avoids sacks by making simply body adjustments in the face of pressure.

“He is a naturally accurate, good drop-back passer who is very intelligent in this game,” Zorn recently said of Flacco.  ”We’re working on his footwork, rhythm, anticipation and just improving his completion percentage.

“This game is all about movement. You can be a drop-back passer and be a pocket scrambler with subtle movement.”

When it comes to agility for signal-callers, Zorn is a perfect tutor. Zorn started under center for the Seattle Seahawks from 1976-83 and was voted the eighth-most mobile quarterback in NFL history by the NFL Network.

Flacco has shown speed before.  In 2008, the 6-foot-6 quarterback left mouths agape when he sprinted 38 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals.  Zorn chuckled during an earlier OTA when Flacco had a similar scramble that outran multiple defenders.

Now, Zorn just wants to see Flacco utilize that quick-twitch movement in a smaller space.

“I’m excited about the mobility that Joe has for as tall as he is,” Zorn said at the Ravens’ opening minicamp in early May.  ”I wanted to get [the quarterbacks] to move in the pocket.  That’s where a lot of this game is played, so we’re working on some of those things.”

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