Harbaugh on Flacco: 'I’ve always said that and he’s our QB and I love the guy.' (Getty Images)

Remember earlier this month when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, in response to a question about if he viewed himself as a top-5 NFL quarterback, took it a step further by responding, "Without a doubt," he said. "What do you expect me to say? … I assume everybody thinks they're a top-5 quarterback. I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way."

We had forgotten too, until head coach John Harbaugh was asked about it during a recent appearance on 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore.

“The one thing that you have to love about Joe Flacco is he is honest, he is direct, he’s not really interested in, I don’t think, in finessing an answer in a way that we all -- we know what he was saying but then they parse it and take the part and say ‘Joe Flacco thinks he’s the best quarterback in football.’" Harbaugh said via SportsRadioInterviews.com.

We said it at the time: we have no problem with Flacco's proclamations. You can't be short on self-assurance and expect to succeed as an NFL quarterback. The problem, at least from the viewpoint of media and fans, is that Flacco is wildly inconsistent. He'll play like a perennial Pro Bowler one week and then the next week look like an undrafted rookie free agent making his first start.

Part of the blame falls to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, whose playcalling came into question at last season but who also enjoyed Harbaugh's full support. Either way, the head coach has no problems with his starting quarterback's remarks.

"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. I don’t know. Joe is Joe, we do talk to him about that, but you have to love Joe, you have to love his mindset, his attitude, he’s a fierce competitor, I’ve always said that and he’s our quarterback and 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 ‘alright let’s go prove it then.’"

Which is exactly what Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said several weeks ago in reference to Flacco's decree.

"Any player, any coach, any GM do not think they aren't the best at what they do," Newsome said. "For Joe to say that, I think that's a common thing. The aspect of it that I think we all also look at is, if you make a statement like that, then you also have to prepare yourself to be the best. I'm sure that Joe is also doing that."

In other team-related news, Harbaugh said he'd "be surprised" if the team didn't work out a long-term deal with arguably their best offensive player, running back Ray Rice, who was franchised last month. And the head coach also spoke about safety Ed Reed, who said recently that he's not getting the respect he deserves, and his future in Baltimore.

“Obviously we have utmost respect for Ed, he and I have a tremendous relationship, we’ve been texting back and forth, it’s been really positive. … Last year I thought he was in the best shape of his whole career, at least the career I’ve seen, the last four years let me say that. …That stuff has a way of working itself out so I’m not worried about it that way.”

The Ravens are coming off a the AFC North title, a 12-4 record, and a honked field goal away from the Super Bowl. In the scheme of things, they're in great shape heading into 2012.

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