BABY ON BOARD
The Ravens' quarterback missed the birth of his second child, Daniel, in New Jersey because he had a game against the Browns. Flacco & Co. won that Week 2 matchup, then went on to beat the Texans 30--9 on Sunday to raise their record to 2--1.
DAN PATRICK:Was there a scenario where you wouldn't have played the day your wife delivered?
JOE FLACCO: There wasn't one. It was something my wife and I discussed.... I wish I could have been there, obviously. There are 52 other guys that are counting on me. I was glad I could be there for my team and go home and have a newborn sitting there with me. It was a pretty cool day.
DP:How hard was it to be in the game mentally?
JF: You get that call at 5:30 in the morning [that your wife's in labor], and you're like, What are we going to do? I was so hyped up. It was great that she had the baby at 11:30, so that I knew that everyone was O.K. Without that I don't know how much I would have been able to concentrate.
DP:Do you want your two sons to play football?
JF: No doubt about it. I want them to play all kinds of sports. We'll see what kind of talent they have.
DP:I was on the sideline for your Week 1 game against the Broncos. It's amazing how hard the collisions are.
JF: You don't realize the size of guys and the ability of everybody on the field. Every single person is an above-average to elite runner. You wouldn't believe how many people come up to me and say, I didn't know you were that tall. That's because I'm out there with guys who are 6'5" and above.
DP:Did you marvel at Peyton Manning's seven-touchdown performance in Week 1?
JF: I'm not marveling—I'm pissed. He got seven touchdowns that game. I only threw two.
DP:You've had fun kidding former teammate Ray Lewis about his speeches. Has that ever caused a problem?
JF: Sometimes I catch flak for busting with Ray. You have to understand our relationship. Ray is viewed as this big, bad guy. I love Ray. What kind of relationship would it be if I can't bust his balls every now and again?
DP:Would you ever have Lewis read a bedtime story to your boys?
JF: No, I don't think that'd be good. I think he's gotta read them a story when they wake up, so they get ready to go for the day. If he read them a bedtime story, they'd be amped up.
DP:Can you change a diaper before the play clock expires?
DP:You're not fast?
JF: I've only changed two or three diapers in my lifetime. My wife takes care of those duties. I'd be a couple of minutes. I might have to bail out.
DP:You almost have as many Super Bowl rings as diaper changes.
JF: Hopefully I can get those Super Bowl rings above those diaper changes. That'd be a nice goal.
Fox NFL analyst Brian Urlacher felt relief watching rookie coach Chip Kelly and the Eagles' up-tempo offense. "I'm just glad I retired before all this stuff got to the NFL," the former Bears linebacker said. "The faster you go, the simpler the defense has to be. You can't do a whole lot because you can't communicate."... I wondered if quarterback AJ McCarron of top-ranked Alabama was offended by analysts who refer to him as a game manager. "I don't really care what people view me as," McCarron told me. "I know my teammates feel like I'm an important player on the field for us at all times."... I asked Bengals receiver A.J. Green if he'd rather be hit in the head or the knees. "My knees," Green said. "Getting older, after this game, I don't want to be a vegetable at the age of 50."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (FLACCO)
JOHN BIEVER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (URLACHER)
GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MCCARRON)
JOE ROBBINS/GETTY IMAGES (GREEN)