OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Joe Flacco is entering his 11th NFL season, and the first time his name was in the same sentence as "quarterback" and "competition" was … well, this offseason, starting with draft night three months ago.
Combine that with the fact that having two quarterbacks on the field at the same time is not something the Ravens have often contemplated, if ever, before this spring and summer. Which coincides with the fact that the last time they picked a quarterback in the first round before they took Lamar Jackson in April was when they took Flacco in 2009. Finally, add Robert Griffin III as a dose of quarterback insurance that was proven to be needed after last season, but who was added before Jackson was the surprise choice at the end of the first round.
Thus, the Ravens’ preparation for the 2018 season is uncharted territory.
There’s one notable exception to that, though: Flacco wound up starting opening day of his rookie year, an unplanned development that merged his rapid acclimation with some unforeseen circumstances.
That scenario could conceivably repeat itself with the potential-laden, quick-learning Jackson. But, as head coach John Harbaugh has said throughout the offseason — including the day of their first training camp practice this year — none of that will be known until they actually start playing games. For the Ravens, that begins two Thursdays from now at the Hall of Fame Game against the Bears in Canton, Ohio.