CLEVELAND -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco told the Cleveland media that the only person he recognizes on the Browns’ defense is two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.
Upon hearing that, Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who mentored Flacco in 2008 and 2009, plans on introducing the other 10 defenders to the one-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback when the teams meet at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday.
“Joe is a seasoned veteran player,” Jackson said. “He looks for certain things. I’m sure he knows who Joe Haden is. He has seen Joe and competed against Joe many a times. My plan is that I hope he gets to know some of the other guys here by Sunday, up close and personal possibly.
“Joe is scouring every bit of tape that we have had to find any opportunity to do whatever he can do to help his football team. We are young. I think we all know that. At the same time, we feel good about the guys that are back there playing.”
In 15 career starts against the Browns since being taken in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Delaware, Flacco has posted a 13-2 record. He has completed 272 of his 444 attempts (61.3 percent) for 3,237 yards and 19 touchdowns against seven interceptions with a 91.2 quarterback rating.
Flacco’s 19 touchdowns passes against the Browns are his most against any other opponent, and he has thrown for at least one touchdown in eight straight games versus Cleveland.
Flacco’s .867 winning percentage against the Browns is the third-best active success rate in the NFL. Only Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger against the Browns (19-2, .905) and Tom Brady against the Buffalo Bills (25-3, .892) have better winning percentages against a single opponent than Flacco.
“I just don’t want to see it this week,” Jackson said. “He is a very talented player. I knew that he was going to be a star in this league. He is big, physical, can throw the ball, any ball you want thrown. He is very bright, and I think people think Joe doesn’t have a lot of passion, but he does. He loves to win. He has done a great job.
“Obviously, he has led that team to a Super Bowl. He is one of the better quarterbacks in the National Football League. I thought that is exactly what he would be. We have to do everything we can on our side defensively to do everything we can to slow him down. This is a quarterback-driven league, and he is one of the better players, so we have to do everything we can to take that away from him this weekend.”
In order to prevent Flacco and the Ravens from picking apart the Browns’ defense, Jackson will have his players paying close attention to the details of the game plan.
“They have the characteristics of a really good offensive football team,” Flacco said. “They can spread the ball around, a lot of guys touch it, so we have to make sure that we are on our Ps and Qs and making sure that we are paying attention to all the little details because he can put the ball in a lot of different people’s hands who can make plays with the ball.
“It is going to be challenging, but last time I checked, they can only put 11 out there. They get 11. We get 11. It is going to be fun.”