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Late For Work 6/11: Legend Brett Favre Feels Joe Flacco's Pain


Legend Brett Favre Feels Flacco's Pain

Joe Flacco ascended to the top.

It doesn't get any higher than winning the Super Bowl along with the distinction of being the game's MVP. A then-record $120 million contract was part of his reward.

But Flacco stumbled the next season and missed the playoffs for the first time in his career.

He's caught a lot of heat, and legendary quarterback Brett Favre feels his pain%20and%20Brian%20Wilhite%20(

"What Joe is going through is no different from any other quarterback who has had success," the future first-ballot Hall of Famer told WNST's Nestor Aparicio. "And that doesn't even mean winning the Super Bowl. When you throw in winning the Super Bowl, it's a whole new dimension."

Favre is the NFL's all-time winningest quarterback, and yet he won "only" one Super Bowl.

He's had all the individual accolades you can imagine – three-time NFL MVP, 11-time Pro Bowler, the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns, and, yes, even interceptions – but Favre said nothing compares to the pressure that comes from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

"The downside of being successful is the expectations, and I consider that a good thing," Favre said. "They expect you, in fact, you yourself will expect to do the same thing, expect to duplicate what you had done in the previous year and be back. Or have a season that is acceptable not only in your eyes but in the fans' eyes and the organization's eyes.

"That's very hard to do. I know first-hand."

Favre said he believes football is different from any other sport in regards to how many outside factors affect a quarterback's ability to repeat success. He said a quarterback could be at the top of his game, but nobody will ever know if things around him breakdown.

The protection from the offensive line, the defense's ability to prevent opponents from scoring, injuries, dropped passes and the short football season all can affect a quarterback's ability to succeed.

"[T]here's only 16 games and that's what I tell people," Favre said. "If you go 0 for 4, I mean in baseball, if you go 0 for 4 three or four nights in a row, people may scratch their head, may print something negative, 'But no problem, he's in a little slump that he'll come out of.'

"If you go 0 for 4 in football, three or four weeks in a row, they're going to change. You have to because there are only 16 games. You don't have that many games to throw away, not that you do throw them away, but when you have a 150 in baseball, you can get away with that."

You'll never hear Flacco offer excuses for missing the playoffs last year, or for having the statistically worst season of his career. He threw a career-high 22 interceptions in 2013, and he takes ownership of that.

He praises his defense, offensive line and receivers. He's on a mission to get back to the Super Bowl.

He wants to join the list of Joe Montana, Tom Brady, John Elway and select others who have multiple rings. But for every Montana story, there are more Favre stories or even Dan Marino stories.

Marino is recognized as one of the all-time best and never won a championship. In just his second NFL season, Marino threw a then-NFL record 48 touchdown passes and advanced to the Super Bowl. He lost to the San Francisco 49ers, but always thought he would make it back for another chance at a ring.

It never happened.

"In some ways, if you do it early, like Marino for example, he went his [second] year and he said, 'Oh, I'll be back. I'll be back. I'll be back.'

"Sometimes you never go back. That just shows you how difficult it is."

Smith Has His Goggles Picked Out

Remember Steve Smith Sr.'s "goggles" and "blood and guts" comment after he was released from the Carolina Panthers?

Allow me to refresh your memory.

"I want to make sure that whatever team I go to, they're going to get the best, in shape 35-year-old guy they can get. If that happens to run through Bank of America Stadium [in Carolina], put your goggles on cause there's going to be blood and guts everywhere," Smith said in March.

Smith has since said that was a tongue-in-cheek comment, and should be taken humorously.

Well, the 14-year veteran is continuing the joke.

He already has his goggles picked out, and posted a hilarious picture of them on Twitter.

"These are the goggles I'm wearing. ..  show me urs," he wrote.

If you don't have yours yet, you have until Sept. 28 to get a pair before the Panthers visit M&T Bank Stadium.

Mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page to see Smith's goggles.


Juszczyk: I Like Offense Way Better Than Last Year

Ravens players have had a couple months in the classroom and on the field to digest the Ravens' new offense under Gary Kubiak. That's ample time to form an early opinion of it.

All the reviews so far have been positive, but nobody has given a more glowing review than second-year fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

"I like this offense way better than last year's," he told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.

"I think it's going to really pay off. I think we're going to be very explosive. I like how it's concept-based. We don't run a ton of different concepts, but we run a lot of different formations and a lot of different looks. You can get a lot done with a small amount of install."

Juszczyk is slated for a versatile, pass-catching role in the West Coast scheme, which should take advantage of his athletic skills and solid hands beyond a traditional fullback blocking role.

Check out Ryan Mink's piece scheduled to run tomorrow that will dive deeper into Juszczyk's expanded role.

Quick Hits

  • "Based on what coaches and teammates are saying, Flacco spent time [this offseason] looking at the new playbook on his iPad, learning the different formations and new terminology," wrote Jamison Hensley. "The hours that Flacco put in studying in New Jersey benefited him more than tossing passes to Steve Smith at a local high school a couple of months ago." [ESPN] 
  • Ravens undrafted rookie cornerback [Tramain Jacobsinternal-link-placeholder-1] prepped for the NFL by competing in college against Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, two NFL first-round picks. "It was good to go up against Mike and Johnny every day at practice," said Jacobs. "They were two of the best players I ever played against. They prepared me very well to make the transition to the NFL." [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Fans took a poll that asked which Raven will make the biggest sophomore jump? The results from 900 voters: Matt Elam (61%), Marlon Brown (17%), Arthur Brown (9%), Brandon Williams (8%) and Rick Wagner (5%). [ESPN]
  • Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe joined the Ravens' list of players not at the final voluntary camp of the year. He participated in the first three weeks of offseason practices. The other absent starters were outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, guard Marshal Yanda, inside linebacker Daryl Smith and defensive end Chris Canty. [ESPN]
  • With Monroe gone, Bo Smolka says James Hurst was a stand-out player in practice yesterday as he got lots of time with the first-team offense. "Remember, Hurst is an undrafted rookie out of North Carolina, but it seems he has moved rapidly up the depth chart. Some teams were scared off by Hurst's leg injury -- he broke his leg in North Carolina's bowl game -- but he looks like he could be the team's next undrafted gem." [CSN Baltimore]
  • Four other stand-out players for Smolka were offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, linebacker C.J. Mosley, wide receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Brent Urban. [CSN Baltimore]
  • The Steelers' offense took off when they went no-huddle and let Big Ben call his own plays. They're committed to making it a bigger part of their offense. [CBS Sports]
  • @TeamFlacco: Good luck to all the athletes competing in the 2014 @SpecialOlympics this weekend. #2014USAGames [Twitter]
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