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.