John Harbaugh colorfully advises Joe Flacco on proper sliding technique
Joe Flacco’s awkward slides while driving his surgically repaired knee into the turf are becoming an increased source of consternation for his teammates. And now, it has drawn the ire of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. perhaps summarized the team’s collective opinion best by previously stating Flacco owns the “worst slide known to mankind.”
Smith’s comment came after Flacco snapped his knee brace while sliding during a game four weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers last month, only to awkwardly limp off the field afterward.
But Flacco’s continued inability to avoid slamming his knee into the turf was on display once again during Sunday’s 19-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. After a season-high 16-yard run, Flacco once again drove his brace-protected left knee into the ground.
Nice slide Joe Flacco. #CINvsBAL #NFLSundayFootball #nfl https://t.co/9EAZT4Q9ka
— PracticeTimePodcast (@practicetimepod) November 27, 2016
Suffice to say, it was not an “elite” slide. But Flacco’s continued habit came much to the chagrin of Harbaugh.
“You don’t slide on your knee. He and I have had that conversation,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN. “He can be mad at me now, because I said it publicly, but we all played baseball. He wants to talk about a pop-up slide. Maybe that’s what he did in high school, but you can’t do a pop-up slide on a knee brace. It’s just as simple as that.”
When asked how he’d prefer Flacco to slide, Harbaugh slapped his posterior three times while saying, “You’ve got to get down there on those glutes. That’s what has to happen. It’s not the first time he’ll have heard that.”
Given that the knee brace is a season-long deal for Flacco, he has no choice but to continue to work on incorporating its presence into his slides.
“I’m probably going to have to deal with it for a while until I can like retrain myself to slide on my right side or get on my butt,” Flacco said. “I don’t want to start diving head first and doing all that stuff because then you can fumble, and they can hit you and all that stuff. It’s just something I’m going to have deal with and get a little bit better at.”