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Caldwell: Flacco 'a lot better'


Caldwell: Flacco 'a lot better'

When Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his new position coach, Jim Caldwell, met with reporters in separate sessions after Tuesdays training camp practice, it was interesting to hear their views of what has transpired in their five-plus months together.

Caldwell, who was the Indianapolis Colts head coach before coming to Baltimore, clearly believes Flacco has improved over the months of practice time they have shared.

The great thing about (Flacco) is he tries to improve, from his drops to his reads. There are a number of things that I think hes doing a lot better than he had done maybe previously, Caldwell said. He just keeps improving. Hes getting rid of the ball quickly. Were trying to work on a lot of the little things.

Were big on fundamentals around here. Thats key, a basic foundation, the basic rudiments of the game; playing the position from the ground up. You start with footwork, first of all. We work on that every single day to make sure thats solid. Thats the start of making a good throw or a poor throw.

Flacco, never one for intense self-analysis, didnt necessarily see the improvement in his technique.

So far were just out here doing our drills and stuff like that, he said with his usual shrug.

But he was extremely positive about the many hours he has spent in the classroom with Caldwell, watching films and discussing various plays.

The biggest thing has been the conversations weve had about certain plays and how we can throw or do that a little better, or take a different way to think about something, Flacco said. The conversations have been great.

Caldwell, he continued, "wants to get it right. Hes in our own (quarterbaks) room to make sure everything is clear to me. Jim is a great guy. You can tell from talking to him for two seconds. Its a very easy relationship. It will be fun this year as we go through the season, win a lot of games and continue to have that communication and just get better.

Flacco is one of the most-debated players in the NFL, but his play during training camp has elicited mostl positive reviews from his teammates and many media observers.

Im on the Joe Flacco bandwagon, receiver Torrey Smith said.

Hes comfortable in his own skin, Caldwell said.

Flacco will finally get to start exhibiting whatever has changed in him under Caldwell when the Ravens open the preseason against the Falcons Thursday night in Atlanta. Although he might not play more than a quarter, he said, Im definitely excited to play a football game and get out there. Its been awhile."


Rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw practiced for the first time in more than a week, as did receiver Tandon Doss. Upshaw had been out with a bruised shoulder, Doss with a sore hamstring. Safety Ed Reed (knee) also returned to practice after missing several days.

The team practiced on the indoor field at the Under Armour Performance Center for the second time in five days.

Harbaugh revealed the linebacker Josh Bynes has been out for two weeks with cracked bones in his back and is expected to miss another two or three weeks.

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

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Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Ravens rank higher than expected in preseason rankings

Kick off your Wednesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including a high preseason ranking for the Ravens.

Player/Team Notes: 

1. The Ravens ranked higher than expected in Peter King's preseason rankings. King ranked the Ravens at No. 12, surprising for a defense that is working on development during this offseason. However, with the Ravens' signing of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, maybe he will bring the fire the Ravens need on defense.

2. With day 2 of OTAs in the books, the focus has been on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Ravens writer, Kevin Eck noted that during the offseason, Jackson had been working out with Ravens quarterbacks coach, Joshua Harris along with receivers Jordan Lasley and Jaylen Smith, so it remains to be seen throughout the summer on whether or not he has improved namely his passing game. 

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.


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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

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Reaction: Peter King picks Ravens 12th in 2019 Power Rankings

With OTAs underway, Peter King has released his 2019 NFL preseason power rankings and of the biggest surprises is the Baltimore Ravens landing at No. 12 on the list. Although stud Lamar Jackson surprised people last season, given the substandard state of their defense and the burden on Jackson to shoulder the load offensively, King may have the Ravens ranked a few spots too high. 

Let's start with the defense; it's got more holes than a slice of swiss cheese. Most notably they lost linebacker Terrell Suggs, the heart and soul of their defense for the past decade. Although past his prime, Suggs is still a productive player and they will undoubtedly miss his leadership. They released defensive back Eric Weddle, who was coming off two straight Pro-Bowl appearances. Their justification was that he's 34 and by releasing him, they could allocate the money to re-signing All-Pro linebacker C.J. Mosley. Solid reasoning, if Mosley didn't sign with the New York Jets in the offseason.

Credit must be given, however, to the four-year, $55 million contract given to former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Coming off a broken leg, he is easily the biggest X-factor for this defense. If he produces like the Earl Thomas of old, it'll more than makeup for the loss of the Weddle. They'll also be getting back defensive tackle Willie Henry from injury, who's young and hungry.

Although last years' defense was one of, if not the top unit in the NFL, all anyone could manage to talk about was the dynamic offense led by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Coach John Harbaugh threw caution to the wind and handed the reins to Jackson in Week 10, and the Ravens proceeded to win six of their next seven games behind a run-dominated offense.

It's a toss-up if they'll be able to replicate that success this season. On the one hand, the unconventional attack took the league by storm last year and one could argue the league just needed time to adapt to this new-look offense. On the other hand, the Ravens did add some electric new pieces to the offense to replace the losses of wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown. 

They added Mark Ingram who is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league when healthy. Their first-round pick, wide receiver Marquise Brown, is one of the fastest players Todd McShay has ever evaluated. Third-round pick wide receiver Miles Boykin was one of the 20 fastest players at the draft and fourth-round pick  Justice Hill registered the fastest 40 time for running backs at the combine. Adding young, electric talent will enhance Jackson's already stellar playmaking ability. 

At tight end, they're one of the deepest teams in the NFL, headed up by Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst. Keep in mind, however, that this is the NFL: it all starts with the quarterback. Jackson completed passes at a 58.2% clip last season. If the Ravens are serious about building around him, he'll have to improve as a passer. 

Taking the defensive deficiencies and questions on offense into account, and 12 is too high for the preseason power rankings; 16 is more appropriate. In his article, King writes about the Ravens saying, "They could win 11. They could win six." If I had to choose one outcome I'd take the latter.