Courtesy Fox Sports 1/YouTube
Courtesy Fox Sports 1/YouTube

Ravens legend Ray Lewis thinks Joe Flacco is a gifted player. He just doesn’t think the quarterback has much fire in his game.

Lewis said as much on national TV on Thursday on the FOXSports1 show “Speak for Yourself,” per ESPN. While he told noted opinion-haver Jason Whitlock that he would pick the Ravens to win their upcoming matchup against the Cowboys this Sunday, he threw in a couple negative remarks about Joe Flacco in the next breath. Asked why his former teammate of five years is “so inconsistent,” Lewis responded, “there’s something called talent, and there’s something called being passionate about what you do. And me, being around it – gifted? Absolutely. Passionate about what he do? I’ve never seen that.”

He noted that Flacco can be seen in some games sitting alone on the bench after lousy and great plays alike. He then pressed on. “Some people will be co-workers, some people will be teammates, and then some people you call friends. “I call Joe Flacco a teammate.”

This morning, Flacco predictably gave a deflecting response to Lewis on Adam Schein’s “Mad Dog Sports Radio” show on Sirius XM. “It is what it is, and Ray can think what he thinks,” he told the host.

Flacco w/ @AdamSchein on Ray Lewis’s comments: “It is what it is, and Ray can think what he thinks.”

— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) November 18, 2016

Lewis played his final season in 2012 with Flacco at the helm. The quarterback famously led the squad to a 10-6 regular season and onward through the playoffs to a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite their run together, the two have had public exchanges about their attitudes in the past. Shortly after their Super Bowl win, Flacco said he sometimes got lost when Ray Lewis was giving his hype speeches to the team. He also later said he loved how Lewis “always spoke from the heart, but if you listened to those speeches, a lot of them didn’t even make sense. He meant everything he was saying, but I didn’t know what he was talking about 90 percent of the time.”

Unfortunately for Flacco, three years later, he’s not in the best of positions to defend himself. While his Ravens are 5-4 and top of the AFC North, his play hasn’t exactly been stellar. He’s thrown an equal number of interceptions and touchdowns (nine) this year, and ESPN has his passer rating pegged at 29th in the league. While his team won the first three games of the year, they then dropped four straight. Lewis and Whitlock aren’t exactly off the mark in labeling it inconsistent play.

Luckily, the Ravens are coming off two straight wins over the Steelers and Browns, further cementing their spot atop their division. This Sunday, we’ll see if Lewis’ untimely remarks can add some fuel to Flacco’s play on the field while the team seeks to extend its a second winning streak of the season.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...