Gary Kubiak Digging Into Studying Joe Flacco


When it's Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's typical day to speak with reporters, he waits patiently nearby for the other coordinators to finish speaking.

On Tuesday, as the Ravens enter their bye, Kubiak had to be fetched from his office. He was waist-deep in film study of the most important player of the offense – quarterback Joe Flacco.

Kubiak was asked for the reason why Flacco hasn't played as well in the Ravens' past three games as he had earlier this season.

"That's what I'm studying right now," Kubiak said. "You go through phases throughout the course of a season. Joe went through a really hot stage [for] about three or four weeks, [and] then we went through a stage here where we turned the ball over. We calmed that down last weekend, which is a big reason why we were able to be successful.

"But I'm trying to go back and really look at the things that he's very comfortable with and doing very well, and maybe some of the things I've asked him to do here over the course of a few weeks that maybe got him out of that comfort zone."

Over the first six weeks of the season, Flacco threw 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Over the next three weeks against Atlanta, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, he tossed four touchdowns and five interceptions. Kubiak stressed the need to stop the turnovers.

Flacco didn't throw any picks last week against Tennessee, but still wasn't on top of his game.

He threw for 169 yards, which was his second-lowest total of the season. His previous low was in a Week 2 blowout of the Steelers, but he completed 72.4 percent of his passes that day. He was far less efficient against the Titans, completing just 59.3 percent of his throws.

Flacco is still on pace for career-highs in yardage, touchdowns and quarterback rating, but he's trailed off since his original hot start.

The Ravens need him to be playing well considering Baltimore's banged-up secondary will be going against the Saints' Drew Brees and Chargers' Philip Rivers in back-to-back weeks after the bye.

Instead of trying to fix everything that Flacco is doing wrong, Kubiak wants to focus on what he's doing right and maximize that.

"I'm trying to find that as a coach as we get into these last six weeks [and] get him as comfortable as I can," Kubiak said. "But Joe is working really hard."

In recent games, Flacco has made some poor decisions.

He was intercepted by Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds when trying to throw the ball out of bounds. He said he "lost [his] mind" on that play. There have been other receivers that he's missed too, sometimes going for bigger gains when there were intermediate or short plays open to be made.

"We have to clean up some of our decision making, and I think I can help him with that by how I call plays, too," Kubiak said. "So, that's what I'm kind of trying to really check myself probably first before I go to Joe and say, 'OK, this is what we're going to do.' That's kind of what I'm trying to do right now."

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