Fans knocked Joe Flacco for not getting some of his teammates together for practices this spring.
They can't criticize his study habits.
Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak said it's evident that Flacco put in the work with the playbook before Ravens organized team activities (OTAs) began. Kubiak's said his signal caller is "ahead of the curve."
"I think he worked his tail off when he was away from me," Kubiak said after Tuesday's practice.
"When it was time to go to work, when we could get our hands on him and do those type of things, it was obvious when he came in how hard he had worked and he knew what he was doing. He's way ahead of the guys from that standpoint."
When Kubiak was hired, he feverishly began developing his playbook. He wanted to get it in Flacco's hands as fast as possible. It's Flacco's first major system change in his seven years and he plays the most important offensive position on the field.
Kubiak finished the playbook in early-March and sent it over to Flacco and teammates on an iPad, indicating he used old Houston Texans footage. The expectation that Flacco come in ahead of his teammates was clear, but Kubiak couldn't discuss it with him because of the NFL's offseason limits on the interaction between players and coaches.
"That's all I could do is try to get as much information in his hands as we could possibly get," Kubiak said. "He was the one doing the work learning the terminology."
Flacco and Kubiak couldn't start working together until May 5. Now that they're in OTAs, they've turned up the pace and Flacco is keeping up. Kubiak said his footwork, which is key in read progressions, is coming along well.
Kubiak said they're nearing the point where Flacco understands the entire playbook and they can start having discussions about what Flacco feels good about and what he's still uncomfortable with. That way they can practice more of the plays Flacco's unsure about.
"His progress and where he's at right now, I couldn't be happier," Kubiak said. "The important thing was that he be ahead of everybody and he's done that."
The always-cool Flacco brushed off the noise about the lack of players-only practices this offseason. Maybe it was because he was studying. A couple weeks ago, Flacco was asked about how he responds to those who criticized him.
"I have no idea," he said. "I'm going to know the offense. The last problem that we're going to have is myself [not] knowing exactly what everybody is going to do on the field. That's never a concern."