Joe Flacco on joining the New York Jets: 'There's a lot of good things about going up to New York'

Seth Everett

Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco is thrilled to be a member of the New York Jets. When he met the media last week in a virtual Zoom chat, he sang the organization’s praises and welcomed the challenge of starting a season as a backup for the first time in his career.

“I'm fully embracing it,” Flacco told reporters. “It's where I am right now and I'm glad to be on a team playing football in some capacity. It's going to be huge to get in there and know the guys and develop a relationship with the team and do anything I can to help the team get better.”

Given the fact that players and coaches can’t do physical workouts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Flacco could have waited to sign with an organization when he was better healed and closer to being back on the field. He underwent neck surgery back in April to repair a herniated disk and won’t be cleared for contact until late August or perhaps even September.

“I think it's important to get on a team and get comfortable with, with the guys and the team and get comfortable with Sam (Darnold) and in this situation,” Flacco said. He then spoke of the importance of learning the offense, even if he can’t get on the field because of both the pandemic and his recovery.

“I'm really relying on the doctors at this point to come up with that timetable,” Flacco said.

“We'll see how everything's going. I'm ready to move forward. I just want to make sure that I'm as safe as possible. I’m going back out in the field and able to take a hit if that's what it needs to be. I'm really relying on the doctors at this point that that's the main decision-maker.”

Flacco has clear ties to Jets general manager Joe Douglas from their days together with the Baltimore Ravens. Douglas was a big influence on the Ravens’ decision to draft Flacco in 2008, and Flacco easily acknowledged their history as part of the reason he wanted to come to the Jets.

“There's a lot of good things about going up to New York and being on this football team, and Joe being the guy that's there it definitely makes you feel wanted,” Flacco said.

Flacco said he has spoken to Darnold regularly and has participated in the team’s virtual meetings while learning the offense. He commented on another Jets newcomer, wide receiver Breshad Perriman, as the two played together with the Ravens.

“Breshad can do a lot of things and I'm really happy for the way his career has gone,” Flacco said on the Zoom call. “When things don't quite work out with the team that you got drafted by, it just leaves weird feelings in different people's mouths. I'm sure it was a tough time for him. I'm glad to see him go out there and have success. I'm sure his confidence is just, is, is right up there where it needs to be.”

He made it clear that he understands his role, and has no misgivings about it being anything other than a backup role.

“My role is to help the team get better and to help a young quarterback see things as clearly as possible,” Flacco said. “And help him on his journey to being a long time NFL quarterback.”

The Jets lost all three games last season when Darnold was out with an illness.