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Flacco Back On The Field ... Joe's Brother, Mike Flacco


A Flacco was on the Ravens' practice fields Saturday, but it wasn't the one you're thinking.

Mike Flacco, one of Joe's four younger brothers, was invited to Baltimore's rookie minicamp as a tight end tryout.

Mike is playing on the fields where Joe made himself into a Super Bowl MVP.

"I've been walking around seeing a lot of pictures of Joe," Mike said with a laugh.

"He's been here for what, going on nine years now, and I've only been in this building a couple times. It's cool to be here as a player, get a chance to come down here and try my best and see where it leads."

Mike Flacco has had a long, winding road in his pursuit to become a professional athlete.

In began in 2009 when he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles. Flacco bounced around their minor league system, never making it above Double-A. His final baseball season was in 2012 when he spent most of the year with High-A Frederick and hit .218 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 103 games.

When Flacco was traded to the Boston Red Sox during spring training in 2013, he decided to retire from baseball. Given his athletic bloodlines, Flacco decided to give football a try.

The 6-foot-5, 251-pound prospect played one season of football at the University of New Haven, where he caught 30 passes for 591 yards and nine touchdowns.

He wasn't drafted into the NFL, but was signed as an undrafted rookie with the Chargers in 2014. He didn't make the team, then bounced to a short stint on the Jaguars' practice squad later that season. Last year, he had a tryout with the New York Jets in their rookie minicamp.

None of his stops have worked out, so now he's come to Baltimore – his fourth NFL team.

"[My career has] been all over the place," Flacco said. "Unfortunately I've never quite gotten to the point where I want to yet. You just push and if it happens it happens, and if not I'll go back to school."

Flacco is an undergraduate student at Villanova pursuing his degree in chemical engineering. But on Saturday, he was tight end, No. 40. He was one of only two tight ends at Ravens rookie minicamp, so he got a lot of work.

"I'm working hard. They're working us out there," Flacco said. "I got a lot of reps, a lot of stuff to put on tape and at least show them what I'm made of, hopefully. I struggled through at some points, but it's been good. I'm just doing my best."

Flacco showed good physicality and hands catching the ball. He's not blazing fast (Joe may be faster), but he clearly has a knack for the game. Flacco caught a few tough passes with tight coverage and juked one linebacker for a long catch down the middle.

"Mike's a great kid," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He does move a little bit like Joe. The body mechanics a little bit are similar, so it's fun to watch."

Flacco's next mission is to catch passes from his brother. Joe likely won't step on the field until mandatory minicamp, at the earliest, so Mike would have to beat the odds and keep a roster spot through the summer amidst a crowded tight end group.

If nothing else, he'll go home with a rookie minicamp team picture. He can at least prove he played on the same professional field as his big brother.

"That would be a dream if I could make it that long [to catch passes from Joe]," he said. "Day by day, I try to give it all I've got."

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