The Caw: Joe Flacco's Sweet Pop-Up Slide

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It's a shame that Joe Flacco's bum knee may prevent him from teaching Tom Brady a thing or two about sliding on Sunday. Ed Reed knows what I'm talking about.

Flacco has been running more than usual this year. He's averaging a career-high 5.4 yards per carry.

But what might be most impressive (to Flacco that is) is his pop-up slide at the end of his runs. I asked him about it on Wednesday.

"It's pretty sweet, right?" Flacco said. "Yeah, I like it."

A lot of quarterbacks are really awkward sliding. Last year, Peyton Manning got made fun of for a particularly poor one.

"Whenever somebody slides terrible, [Flacco's] the first one to talk about it in here," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He takes pride in having a little bit of swag when he does his."

Flacco may get the slide from his baseball days, or because he's simply a better athlete than his long, sometimes goofy-looking strides indicate. Flacco wanted to play baseball at the University of Delaware after being a high school star.

"I don't remember sliding a ton in baseball and all that stuff," Flacco said. "It's just what I do; it's my pop-up slide."

On a more serious note, the slide does help Flacco prevent injuries. We've learned via last week's scare that injuries can't be avoided entirely, but preventative measures can be taken.

Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer tore his ACL earlier this year while sliding. He slid too late and his knee twisted as he took a big hit.

"The biggest thing about slides is knowing when to get down and not taking too long to get down," Flacco said. "Some guys are trying to get that extra yard and they take too long and they have to do an awkward slide. If you're going to run, you have to be willing to take what they give you and really nothing more."

Flacco, who has started 107 consecutive games, hasn't taken any hard shots while sliding. He's just got to watch out for those blows to the knee.

"If anything, I've got guys jumping over me and kicking me in the head or something," he said. "Nothing crazy."

Now roll that beautiful sliding Flacco footage …

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