Initially, the Ravens’ firing of quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn seemed like a fairly minor story.
Zorn never really clicked with the Ravens’ coaching staff, the offensive scheme he’s familiar with didn’t mesh with the one offensive coordinator Cam Cameron runs here in Baltimore, and the Ravens’ offense failed to live up to expectations this season.
The Ravens wanted to go in another direction, and other than the sub-plot involving Cameron now having a more “hands-on” role with the quarterbacks with Zorn gone, the story was not all that surprising.
But things changed yesterday.
Quarterback Joe Flacco told reporters yesterday that he’s not at all happy with the Ravens’ decision to fire Zorn, and said that he viewed the firing as an attack on him personally.
Here’s what it boiled down to: the Ravens’ third year quarterback had a good relationship with Zorn and felt he learned a lot from his positional coach this year.
Flacco said he talked with head coach John Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti after the season ended and tried to convince them to keep Zorn around. That didn’t work. Zorn was tossed aside, leaving Flacco ticked off with the organization.
This sure makes things interesting.
As we’re all aware, Flacco is about as mild-mannered as they come. I can’t recall a single time prior to yesterday that he had vented through the media or called out his coaches or teammates in a public setting. That’s not his style.
Flacco coming out and criticizing the Ravens’ front office the way that he did indicates there might be a bit of a rift developing between the quarterback and those calling the shots.
This isn’t just a minor blip in the early stages of the Ravens’ offseason. This is a franchise quarterback who feels betrayed by his team, and believes he’s getting mixed messages about whether the organization is pleased with the way he’s developing.
Looking at it from Flacco’s perspective, you can’t entirely blame him.
Under Zorn’s direction, Flacco posted his best statistical season of his young career. He then gave Zorn a clear endorsement, and his positional coach still got fired.
That’s not to say that the Ravens were wrong to let Zorn go. He clearly wasn’t the perfect fit here in Baltimore and did not see eye-to-eye with Cameron, who will still be running the offensive show next season. But it definitely raises some questions.
And it sounds like Flacco would like some answers.