Flacco hits the field for his first official practice with Broncos

Michael Kelly

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Joe Flacco may be an elder statesman on the Denver Broncos, but he’s also the new kid trying to find his way.

Tuesday was a good start for the quarterback.

Flacco took part in his first official practice since Baltimore traded him to Denver in March and he is getting more comfortable with his new surroundings.

“It was fun. It’s always fun to get back out there and play football,” Flacco said at Dove Valley on Tuesday. “Obviously it was a little bit of a new situation for me, so getting my feet wet was a good process — even going out for the walkthrough this morning and going into the huddle and calling a play for the first time was new. It was good to get that over with.”

Flacco spent his first 11 years leading the Ravens, taking them all the way to a Super Bowl title in 2012 and to a couple of more AFC title games. But Baltimore’s first round pick from last year, Lamar Jackson, took over the starting job during the season and has become the quarterback of the future for the Ravens.

The 34-year-old Flacco is the quarterback of now for the Broncos and they’re hoping he is a big improvement from the last three playoff-less seasons.

Flacco will have young receivers and tight ends to work with – and to get to know. Even things off the field are an adjustment for him.

““It’s funny. I figured it would take a week or so before it wasn’t so awkward finding a seat in the cafeteria and things like that (laughing). You kind of take that that for granted being so easy,” Flacco said. “All of a sudden you’re the new guy and you have to just sit down with somebody and dive right in.

“There is an aspect of it that is kind of fun. It’s not like I’m a young guy going through that, so it is a little bit different than back when you were a rookie. It’s still something you get used to. I think you have to dive right in and make yourself as comfortable as possible. I’m still getting there, but you can tell the guys are being great the whole time.”

Flacco is getting used to a new coaching staff. Vic Fangio was hired in January as the third head coach in the last four seasons and he brought in a new offensive staff. Rich Scangarello is the offensive coordinator and Fangio sees the chemistry developing between Flacco and him.

“I think Joe’s comfortable in what we’re asking him to do,” Fangio said. “I think he likes it, and he’s just got to get more familiar with it. The only way to do that is to get the reps.”

If Flacco can quickly develop a rapport with his young receivers Denver’s offense can be much better.

“You can tell they are a hard-working group. They’re not very selfish,” Flacco said. “They go out there and they work hard. I think when you have that as a good foundation, you can tell you can go a long way with it.”