Jets coach Robert Saleh says Joe Flacco should still be a novice QB: ‘He’s really, really talented’

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been nearly three years since Joe Flacco was a starting quarterback in the NFL. And Jets coach Robert Saleh thinks that’s a big mistake. Complimenting Flacco’s leadership on and off the field as backup for the 2021 first round, Zach Wilson, Saleh told reporters Wednesday that he believes Flacco can and should still be a starter at age 37.

“He should be in my opinion,” Saleh said of Flacco as a QB1. “He could start in this league, I think. Sometimes this league tends to pigeonhole people, or label people, and then their chances are kind of limited. But Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this league. , really talented.”

Saleh’s comments came in response to questions about Flacco’s physical abilities, after the coach praised the veteran’s mentorship: “His presence, his attitude, the way he does his business, he’s fantastic. He’s an open book (to Wilson and the other QBs) … He’s phenomenal, really.”

Flacco is entering his third season with the Jets and second as Wilson’s best backup. He was originally signed in 2020 as the No. 2 behind former first-rounder Sam Darnold, and started four games that season as an injury substitute. He joined the Eagles the following year to serve as a backup to Jalen Hurts, but was traded back to the Jets last October when Wilson suffered an injury.

Before joining the Jets, Flacco also spent one season with the Broncos, starting eight games in 2019 before suffering a season-ending neck injury. He is best known for his 11-year run as the Ravens’ QB, when he threw a career-high 27 touchdowns (2014) and, most notably in 2012, led Baltimore to a Super Bowl XLVII win over the 49ers, winning from Super Bowl MVP.

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