INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 27: Joe Flacco #5 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. New York Jets
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

New York Jets QB Joe Flacco had some issues with being a mentor in the past. He’s ready to put that behind him, but he still wants to start.

When New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas brought in Joe Flacco the immediate thought was he would be Sam Darnold‘s backup. He’s older, coming off an injury, and hasn’t been playing at a starting-caliber level for years.

Jets fans were split on the issue. On the one hand, Flacco is a former Super Bowl MVP with over a decade of starting experience. On the other hand, Flacco hasn’t played well in each of the last five seasons, has become injury-prone, and has a history of being a poor mentor.

He had issues with mentoring both Lamar Jackson and Drew Lock during his previous two seasons. He simply wanted no part in helping groom his replacement. That competitive fire is still alive, but Flacco knows better now.

According to Robby Sabo of Jet X, the newest Jet told the media that he is willing to embrace his role as a backup and mentor, but that he still believes he is a starting-caliber quarterback

“I’m fully embracing it. It’s where I’m at right now. I’m glad to be on a team playing football in some capacity,” Flacco said.

“My goal is to help the team out, but I still believe I’m a starting quarterback. …but at this point, that’s not my role.”

Flacco will be Darnold’s third primary backup in as many years. Josh McCown and Trevor Siemian held the roles in 2018 and 2019, respectively. While McCown proved to be a worthwhile mentor, he wasn’t what the Jets needed on the field.

The Jets have lost all six games Darnold has missed due to injury or illness in his short NFL career. When he’s on the field the Jets are simply better. The team went 7-6 with Darnold in the lineup in 2019, but they were 0-3 without him. That stretch cost the Jets a playoff spot. The Jets haven’t won a game started by a backup quarterback since 2016 when Bryce Petty led the Jets to a win over the San Francisco 49ers.

The hope is that Flacco could not only aid Darnold to become a better quarterback, but also step onto the field and help the team in case of an injury.

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