At least 1 person thinks Joe Flacco should start for Cleveland
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski has yet to name a starting quarterback for Cleveland’s upcoming game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Deshaun Watson sidelined for the season, the Browns have started three different signal-callers — rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, journeyman backup P.J. Walker, and, most recently, 38-year-old Joe Flacco — in his absence.
As Cleveland’s QB carousel continues to spin, one longtime NFL veteran has planted his flag in Flacco’s camp. Longtime NFL assistant Al Saunders, who previously coached Flacco as Baltimore’s senior offensive assistant, called into 92.3 The Fan’s The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima to stump for the former Ravens quarterback.
“I had to pull over and stop at a rest stop to call you guys,” Saunders said. “There is no decision here. I coached Joe Flacco in Baltimore. When the Browns signed Joe, I sent [Browns GM] Andrew Berry and the coaching staff [a text] and said what a great move that was. Because the time to win for Cleveland is now.”
Saunders believes that Flacco’s experience and ability to run an offense in a short period of time make him the perfect fit for the Cleveland Browns as they make a playoff push. He argues that while Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a great young prospect, you can’t teach experience, and Flacco’s personality and demeanor make him an ideal candidate to lead the team.
Flacco’s recent performance against the Los Angeles Rams showed promise, despite not securing a win. He threw for 240 passing yards, the second-most by any Browns quarterback this season, only behind Watson’s 263 in a Week 3 outing against the Titans. Flacco’s EPA/Play (expected points added per play) in the Week 13 game was -0.17, which was one of the best performances by a non-Watson Browns starter this season, second only to P.J. Walker’s Week 8 game against Seattle.
While Stefanski has yet to make a decision on the starting quarterback, Saunders’ endorsement of Flacco adds weight to the argument for giving him the nod. With the Browns currently sitting at 7-5 and in the playoff hunt, the veteran quarterback’s experience and leadership qualities could be valuable assets in their pursuit of success.
Ultimately, the decision lies with Stefanski and his coaching staff, but Saunders’ support for Flacco certainly adds an interesting perspective to the ongoing quarterback debate in Cleveland.