Joe Flacco: a Blue Hen with a golden arm

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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"This isn't just instant success," Gannon said. "You go back and study the guy and this has happened over the last five years. He has some rare talent. He can really throw the ball and he has good mobility for a guy his size. He's going to get better and the team around him is going to get better."

The 28-year-old Flacco grew up in South Jersey and starred at Audubon High School, a short ride from Philadelphia. He went to Pittsburgh at first, but transferred to Delaware after redshirting his freshman year and playing in just three games in 2004. Flacco didn't get a transfer exception from then-Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt so he had to pay his way to Delaware.

If he has any student loans bills remaining, Flacco can easily pay those off after this season. He's eligible to become a free agent and surely will get a lucrative contract from the Ravens.

All he cares about now is hoisting that Vince Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 3.

"I think it's just one of those things you dream of when you are a little kid," he said. "You watch Joe Montana and those guys light them up in the Super Bowl. So, to be here at this point is pretty special."

Gannon exchanged text messages with Flacco before the AFC title game at New England last week and spoke to him several times during the season. As a broadcaster for CBS Sports and SiriusXM NFL Radio, Gannon has covered many of Flacco's games and knows him well.

"I don't think Joe cares about individual awards," Gannon said. "He's always been a team guy and they wouldn't be there without him. I think he's misunderstood. A lot of people think he's aloof or he's not into it, but a lot of young players don't like to deal with the media. He's ultra-competitive, he's become one of the leaders of that football team and he's done an outstanding job."

And to think Flacco went to Delaware, a school that's produced fewer than 25 NFL players and only five were quarterbacks. Scott Brunner, Jeff Komlo and Andy Hall are the other three.

Flacco and teammate Gino Gradkowski, a backup offensive lineman, will be the fourth and fifth former Blue Hens to play in a Super Bowl. Gannon, Ivory Sully (Los Angeles Rams) and Ben Patrick (Arizona Cardinals) were on losing teams.

"To have this opportunity is pretty cool," Flacco said. "There are a lot of people in this league that can't say they've ever gotten to this point, so it definitely feels good to get here."

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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