Jon Gruden is impressed with Joe Flacco.
When the former Super Bowl winning coach and current Monday Night Football commentator looks at Flacco, he marvels at the quarterbacks' ability to thrive amidst the change throughout his career. Flacco and the Ravens will have their fourth offensive coordinator in as many seasons, and Gruden is struck by how Flacco has handled the constant shuffle in the coordinator's office.
"It seems to be every year we're talking about a new offense with the Ravens. That will be a big challenge. It always is," Gruden said during an interview at the Pro Bowl. "You look at Tom Brady, and he's been in the same culture his entire career, with Belichick. They've had different coordinators, but the culture has been the same.
"Flacco, he's had [John] Harbaugh, but he's also had completely different systems, from Jim Caldwell, Cam Cameron, all the different guys that he's had. It says a lot about him, no question."
The latest coordinator for Flacco is Marc Trestman, the former Chicago Bears head coach who has a strong history of quarterback development. Flacco was on board with hiring Trestman, and Harbaugh expects the pair to “hit it off."
Gruden also sees Trestman and Flacco being a good fit, and he expects Baltimore's new coordinator to build around his quarterback.
"I think you adapt to Flacco, first of all," Gruden said. "Joe is not a rookie quarterback anymore. He's been to the Super Bowl, he's been great in playoff games, he's a veteran. He's the elder statesman of the Ravens now, it's hard to believe."
Adapting to Flacco is in line with Baltimore's strategy to stick with the same system that Gary Kubiak implemented last year. Even though Kubiak is now in Denver, the Ravens plan to keep their offensive foundation in place after Flacco had the best season of his career and the offense set franchise records in several categories.
Trestman has plenty of experience working in that kind of West Coast system and Gruden believes one of the veteran coach's strengths is his ability to adjust to different players or schemes.
"I'm sure Marc will meet with Joe, get his interpretation of what he really likes, and maybe some things that he doesn't really like," Gruden said. "I'm sure Marc Trestman is going to adapt to Flacco. He's really good at that. I'd be surprised if he and Flacco hadn't already texted each other and are looking forward to meeting for the first time."
Get a unique look at the Ravens franchise quarterback in behind-the-scene photos of his football career.