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Jets coach Robert Saleh says Joe Flacco should still be starting 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. Praising Flacco’s leadership on and off the field as backup to 2021 first-round pick Zach Wilson, Saleh he told reporters Wednesday that he thinks Flacco could — and should — still be a starter at 37.

“He should be, in my opinion,” Saleh said of Flacco as QB1. “He could start in this league, I believe that. Sometimes this league tends to pigeonhole people or put labels on people and then their opportunities are kind of limited. But Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this the league. He’s really, really talented.”

Saleh’s comments came in response to questions about Flacco’s physical ability after the coach praised the veteran’s leadership: “His presence, his demeanor, the way he goes about his business, it’s fantastic. He’s an open book (on Wilson and the other QBs) … He’s amazing, he really is.”

Flacco enters his third season with the Jets, and second as Wilson’s top backup. He was originally signed in 2020 as the No. 2 pick behind former champion Sam Darnold and started four games that season as an injury replacement. He joined the Eagles the following year to serve as Jalen Hurts’ backup, only to be traded to the Jets last October when Wilson suffered an injury.

Prior to 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 for 27 touchdowns (2014) and, most notably, in 2012, leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl XLVII victory over the 49ers, winning the Super Bowl. MVP.

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