Joe Flacco is back at Florham Park and thinks he’s here to play – just not right away and likely not in the long run.
Four days after the Gates acquired the veteran midfielder from the Eagles, Flacco reported on Friday that he was fit for his first practice. He will be inactive in Sunday’s game against the Bengals, as Mike White started for injured Zach Wilson, but Flacco thinks he can be quick with the attack fast enough to be an option for Thursday’s start against the Colts.
“I played long enough to be able to adapt as much as possible on the fly and get ready as quickly as possible,” Flacco said on Friday. “I think I see myself playing here at some point over the next two weeks.”
Flacco, whose arrival was delayed due to what he described as “logistics,” was secured for a conditional sixth-round selection that could become a fifth-round selection based on playing time. How much playing time he will actually get remains to be seen – the Jets have yet to decide whether to put Wilson (the knee) in an injured reserve, which will cost him at least three games – but Flacco will provide the insurance in the meantime.
After spending last season with the Jets, Flacco returns to the team with a new coaching staff and a new offense to learn. But coach Robert Saleh indicated that the 36-year-old played under assistants (Gary Kobek in 2014 and Rich Scangarillo in 2019) with links to Shanahan’s offense directed by offensive coordinator Mike Lafleur, and Flacco believes he can learn that “relatively quickly”.
“There’s a lot of familiarity with it, it’s just kind of a process of getting yourself back up to speed with that and seeing what they’ve installed and what they really like to run,” said Flacco, who has been participating in the meetings by default. before Friday.
On Sunday, veteran Josh Johnson will be fired from the coaching staff for being active and supporting Wyatt, although Flacco will be on the sidelines.
Saleh said: “I’m glad he’s there.”
When Wilson returned from a PCL with a sprain, Flacco said he would take on whatever role was asked of him, but wouldn’t necessarily go out of his way to be the “mentor” type.
“I don’t necessarily see seasoned players as always the best mentors, and that probably includes me,” Flacco said. “But yeah, when it comes down to it, I’m a team guy. I have great relationships with the guys. So whatever my role is at this point, when I’m in that role, I’m going to do it.”
“I will embrace that role. But at the same time, I think I am here, in the short term, to help as much as I can in this area.”
Flacco made four appearances for the Jets last season after Sam Darnold injured his shoulder in October. The Jets were interested in bringing Flacco back in the latest season, but instead signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Eagles.
“I may have had the opportunity to come here, maybe not,” Flacco said. “I felt like Philly was probably the only chance that I felt was my chance. At the same time, Sam was still here, and the draft hadn’t happened yet. I probably didn’t need to make a decision very quickly on this, but I felt I had to in those The moment kept to myself — and I thought that was a good situation there.”
However, Flacco said he was “excited” about the trade – bringing him close to his home in New Jersey while also giving him a chance to play.
“I have a lot of great relationships here with the players and the people in the building,” he said. “Anytime you’re looking for an opportunity to play football, it’s exciting.”