Scout.com: You've now had some time to reflect over your first
season as a pro. Was the game faster than you thought it would be? Anything
Joe Flacco: Overall, we improved as an offense as the season went along and I improved as a player. We were able to get to the championship game and as a rookie, that's all you can ask for, but I was hoping we could go further. All in all, it was a great rookie experience.
Scout.com: Why was the game able to slow down for you?
Joe Flacco: I was just able to get more comfortable with my guys and with the offense we're running. And you get more comfortable from the teams you're going up against on the defensive side of the ball. I was able to go out there and play more confidently as the season went on. When you put that all together, it becomes easier to be more successful.
Scout.com: How were you able to get your timing down with Derrick Mason? It seemed from the start of the season both of you were in sync.
Joe Flacco: It's been great. Derrick has been around so long and he knows what he's doing. I just had to throw the ball to him and let him go get it. From there, it's pretty easy.
Scout.com: Quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson will be back for another season
with you. Knowing that he works closely with you, how instrumental has he been
for your development?
Joe Flacco: It's huge. Hue really relates to the players. Any time you have a coach who will level with you from the start and you know what to expect from him, that really helps.
Scout.com: Everyone knows about Willis McGahee, but (FB/RB) Le'Ron McClain
seemingly came out of nowhere. Talk about what you've seen from him over the
course of the season.
Joe Flacco: He's a big guy and he can really move the pile. He can do everything. He can block, run, and catch the ball. Having him this season was big.
Scout.com: Is there anything you'll be looking to improve on entering your
Joe Flacco: We can improve a lot. When we start breaking down the film in OTAs, as a young offense, we'll point out the things we need to improve on. We'll get a chance to work together more now (as opposed to last year at this time) to get more on the same page.
Scout.com: This offense that (offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron runs is a derivative of the old Don Coryell scheme. What's it like to be the quarterback in this offense?
Joe Flacco: It's a lot of fun for me especially with the guys we have outside and in the backfield. I know it has a strong history so it's going to be fun. As long as we're going to be together for a long time, we're going to be pretty good (as an offense).
Scout.com: You had an interview on Sirius NFL Radio recently and you talked about having a chance to go out and prove yourself. You discussed being given a chance to throw the ball more like the legendary quarterbacks such as Dan Marino and Joe Montana. What did you mean by that?
Joe Flacco: I'm sure I'm not different than any other quarterback who wants a chance to go out there and play.
I feel pretty comfortable in what we're doing and I think we're moving toward being a very good offense. To be a great offense, you have to have a quarterback that knows what he's doing. And who is not afraid of doing what he's being asked to do.
I think the more I think you give me, the more I'll feel in my mind that I can expand my knowledge. I don't want anything to be held back.
Cam has done a great job of doing that (expanding the playbook) and bringing me along and doing it at a good pace. I think he feels all of us, not just myself, has a good understanding of all of it.
Scout.com: Putting more on your shoulders probably means throwing the ball more?
Joe Flacco: It's not that I want more of that, if we want to become a better offense, we have to continue to gel more and play more together. I think we took a big step this season and we just have to practice more together and we'll get a chance to do that.
Scout.com: You played the Pittsburgh Steelers three time this season. What did you take from those matchups against perhaps the best defense in the NFL?
Joe Flacco: They have a great defense and they played great all three times and you have to give credit to those guys. In the future, we'll have a plan to attack them and they're an aggressive defense and they can put pressure on you. You have to be aggressive against them and not hold back and pound them. I look forward to facing them next year and in the future.