SAN DIEGO (AP) — Life is good when you’re Joe Flacco’s younger brother.
Mike Flacco is an undrafted rookie tight end with the San Diego Chargers. Older brother Joe, of course, is the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens and MVP of the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
“Luckily, I was able to work with him a little bit in the months leading up to now,” Flacco said Friday after the first practice of the Chargers’ rookie minicamp.
Joe helped Mike the last few months with tips about routes and even provided him film of Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta.
Mike says it’s “totally awesome” having a famous older brother.
“Joe’s success is our family’s success,” he said. “We couldn’t be prouder of Joe and everything he’s done. There are perks that go along with it when your brother’s got some money. … He’s got a car deal with one of the local dealerships in Baltimore so I haven’t driven a car with more than 6,000 miles on it in two or three years now.”
Flacco, 26, took an unusual path to this point. He was drafted in the 31st round of the amateur baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles. He played four years of minor league ball in the Orioles and Red Sox organizations, mostly as a first baseman, before that career ran its course. He played tight end last season at New Haven, a Division II school whose nickname is the Chargers.
Now comes something Joe can’t help him with — making the team. With Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green on the roster, Flacco, who is 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds, knows his best chance is via special teams, “doing whatever you can do.”
Flacco said coach Mike McCoy told the players that a number of undrafted players made the roster last year. Gates joined the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2003 after playing basketball at Kent State.
Flacco said he needs to “go out, work hard and give them a reason to keep you. That’s what I’m trying to do. Keep my head down, bust my butt and learn the plays so I know where I’m going.”
As for expectations because of his last name, “I’m me,” he said. “I can’t worry about what Joe’s done. I want Joe to succeed. I wanted him to win the Super Bowl every year but now I want him to lose in the AFC championship game every year. For me it’s just keep my head down. If I make my way onto a team and find a role, I mean, that’s amazing. And if I don’t, there’s no shame in that.”
Flacco said he felt himself getting winded Friday.
“It’s definitely an adjustment but I’d like to think I’m a quick learner.”
Also trying to make the team as a rookie free agent is former Auburn cornerback Chris Davis. Davis had one of college football’s most memorable plays on Nov. 30 when he returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown on the final play for a 34-28 win over the two-time defending national champion and then-No. 1 Alabama.
“It’s a great opportunity. I get another chance to play football again and compete and try to make this team,” Davis said.
Davis said he thought he’d be a fourth- or fifth-round draft pick.
“But I can’t control that. That’s out of my hands,” he said.
Davis said his life “has changed a lot” since his big return, “but I’m trying to put that moment behind me and move to the next phase of my life.”
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