When I think about Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, the first thing that comes to mind is ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper’s distinctive voice touting the strong arm of “Joe Flacco, quarterback out of Delaware.” But even before that, he was Joe Flacco, backup quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh.
And when he was at Pittsburgh, his roommate was guy by the name of Horatio Benedict Blades, better known as Washington Redskins linebacker H.B. Blades.
You roomed with Flacco?
What was it like?
“Flacco? Flacco was a good guy. Very smart guy, strong arm. His right forearm — his throwing arm — is way bigger than his left one. Way bigger.”
How long did you room together?
“Sophomore year until he transferred. And when transferred to Delaware, that whole thing kind of got in the way of me being his roommate. Coach Wannstedt used to call all the time trying to get me to get him to stay and stuff.
“Flacco’s a good guy, man. I’m just happy for him, happy he’s found an opportunity somewhere and made a name for himself.”
Were you surprised that he had this success so quickly?
“No, not surprised at all, because anyone who knows Flacco knows that he’s smart. He’s poised, he doesn’t let things get to him. He make a mistake or something like that, but he has that attitude about him like, ‘Okay, I made a mistake, that’s fine, move on to the next one.'”
Any good stories?
“Oh, I’ve got a lot of funny stories about him….”
Any you can share?
“No, no, I’m not gonna do that to him.”
Fair enough. Do you still keep in touch?
“Ah, we talk every now and then. I talked to him a couple of times after he went to Delaware, but I always watched to see how he was doing. I knew coming out that, given the strength of his arm, he’d go somewhere — he was the strongest-armed quarterback we had, it’s just that Tyler Palko was already there [in Pittsburgh] — so it was just watching to see if he could get on the field somewhere and start doing it.”