Joe Flacco made waves last week when asked if his agent was correct in labeling him a top-five quarterback in the NFL.
"I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best," Flacco said.
"The one thing that you have to love about Joe Flacco is -- he is honest -- he is direct," Harbaugh told WJZ-FM in Baltimore, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "... Joe Flacco is working to be the best quarterback in football and, in his mind, he's capable of being that. That's what he is saying."
Said Harbaugh: "I love the guy. I will stand behind him and I think I understood what he was saying, but sometimes you shrug your shoulders and you just have to laugh and say, 'all right, let's go prove it then.' If that's how we feel about it, then let's go prove it. Let's make them acknowledge that."
Flacco's first pass last season was a 27-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin in a rip-roaring win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that shed ghosts for the Baltimore franchise. He was that good at moments, but equally puzzling through long, painful stretches when only Ray Rice kept the Ravens' offense from simply vanishing. Plenty of quarterbacks were less effective than Flacco, who guided the Ravens to the postseason for the fourth straight season.
Flacco's comments from last week shouldn't be overblown. In the very same interview, he acknowledged that he was an unfinished product -- something much closer to the truth. For now.