Following their week 11 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Cleveland Browns officially announced that they have signed veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to their practice squad.
Andrew Berry was always going to add another quarterback to the team regardless of Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s performance against the Steelers. Following Deshaun Watson’s injury, the team felt it necessary to add a successful, experienced veteran to the group that could potentially help the team win games when on the field. This perfectly describes the type of player that Joe Flacco is right now.
Though most of the Cleveland faithful might have preferred former Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, his asking price was too high. The Commanders reportedly wanted a “Day 2 Pick” for the backup quarterback, which is more than any team was willing to give.
Being able to land the likes of Joe Flacco as a consolation prize shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. Yes, he’s taken a step back since his Super Bowl MVP days with the Baltimore Ravens, but he can still sling it around as evidenced by his success against the Browns last season. As the starting quarterback for the New York Jets in 2022, he threw for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions against Cleveland in week 2.
When it comes to comparing the styles and passing trends of both Flacco and Brissett, there are quite a few similarities.
Looking at some of the career stat/trends comparison between Jacoby Brissett and new #Browns QB Joe Flacco.— Matt Wilson (@CoachWilson66) November 22, 2023
I’m surprised by some of the year-over-year numbers like Pass Y/A. Despite Flacco having a MUCH stronger arm, their career average is pretty the same here. I would’ve… pic.twitter.com/R8pvrgmLtf
Though there are more, two of the main year-over-year similarities in their game are:
- Pass yards per attempt. This one is a bit surprising seeing that Joe Flacco is known to have a much stronger arm than Brissett. Usually, quarterbacks with “big” arms tend to have a higher yards-per-attempt stat throughout their career.
- Overall QB rating. They have a fairly decent career quarterback rating that’s only separated by a 0.4-point difference, which is no surprise. Both of these guys have been efficient over the majority of their careers so far, especially when it comes to operating in a clean pocket.
The main difference between them is a fairly obvious one, mobility. Brissett is much better when it comes to moving around the pocket and being able to extend plays with his legs. Flacco has been adequate when it comes to being able to scramble for a 1st down here and there but their overall athleticism, especially at this point in Flacco’s career, are miles apart.
Flacco’s been able to overcome his lack of mobility with above-average arm strength and talent. He’s able to make tough throws with more consistency than guys like Jacoby Brissett can. For example, most quarterbacks have a hard time with deep-out routes or throws that are over 13-15 yards and outside of the hash marks. Joe Flacco will always be able to complete more of these passes than others simply due to his arm talent.
Though the thought of Brissett being back in Cleveland was an exciting idea, Flacco can certainly be the same type of asset if called upon this season.