Jaworski: Flacco Could Be MVP

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski thinks Flacco’s improved inside game will push him over the top.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

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Could Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco earn NFL Most Valuable Player honors?

According to ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski, the answer is yes.

“I think Joe has a chance to be the league MVP this season,” said “Jaws” Wednesday during a conference call with media to preview the 2010 season.

Jaworski, who quarterbacked in the NFL for 17 seasons, pointed mainly to Flacco’s experience and the playmakers around him – including wideout Anquan Boldin and running back Ray Rice – as reasons for his bold statement.

“Joe, right now, has had 37 starts in his first two years in the NFL,” said Jaworski.  ”He’s an experienced guy going into his third year, with five playoff games under his belt. And, he’s won playoff games.”

Jaws believes Boldin’s addition will be a boon to Flacco’s production, especially inside the hashmarks, where it is more difficult to thread a pass.

“Outside the numbers, I’m not sure there was a better quarterback in the league last year than Joe Flacco,” said Jaworski.  ”Now, he’s got that threat to the inside, where there’s a savvy receiver who understands what defenses are trying to do. [Boldin] reads the soft spots, he reads the coverages well.

“He’ll become that security blanket for Flacco.”

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden, who was also on the conference call as a MNF analyst, said that quarterbacks typically ascend a level with tenure in one offensive system.

That speaks to Flacco, who enters his third season working with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron.

“The guys that really dominate and excel have been in the same system for three or four years,” Gruden explained.  ”It might be 27 [years old], 28, 29 that are the prime years, but if you have a system and continuity with that system, you can surround this quarterback with personnel.

“Not many teams are able to pull that off because of circumstances. Some teams have, and if you look at the top of each division, I think each quarterback has been in the same system with good personnel for a three- or four-year period.”

In 2009, Flacco set career highs in attempts (499), completions (315), yards (3,613), touchdowns (21) and quarterback rating (88.9).  His rating and 63.1 completion percentage set Ravens franchise records.

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