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Joe Flacco Intends To Put In Extra Time With Ravens' New Receivers

June 14, 2018
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco basically had the last day of minicamp off, as he took part in just a few individual drills before handing off the majority of the work to rookie Lamar Jackson, but Flacco said he intends to put in extra time with the Ravens' new receivers in the upcoming layoff between minicamp and training camp.

After the end of the team's mandatory three-day minicamp, which ended June 14, veterans have roughly a month off before reporting for training camp in mid-July. Rookies have a couple more weeks of work before they take a break.

Much has been made in past years about Flacco not working out with his receivers away from the facility, as many veteran quarterbacks do during the summer. But this summer, Flacco said he intends to connect with Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead, among others, as they represent the veteran leaders of a revamped receiver group.

Flacco said he considered doing something soon, with minicamp fresh in their minds, but instead anticipates holding a workout closer to training camp.

"I want to give these guys a quick break before we actually get together, but it's going to happen quickly," Flacco said.

" … It's going to be a lot of fun. The good thing with these guys is they come up to you and say, 'Hey Flac, you text me, we're out there. So we'll be getting together, and it will be good for us." 

The Ravens have made an improved passing game one of their top priorities this offseason and overhauled the receiver group after finishing 29th in passing and dead last in passing yards per play last year. Flacco missed all of training camp with a back injury last year, and the Ravens have pointed to that as a major reason for the team's struggles, especially early in the year, but it's clear they wanted to change the personnel as well.

Crabtree, Brown and Snead all appear to be quickly developing rapport with Flacco, and Snead says he looks forward to the summer work with his new quarterback as well.

"I think it's huge, just for timing purposes, and knowing your receivers, and knowing what type of receiver he is and what makes him tick and getting to know that person," said Snead, a former New Orleans Saints receiver who said it was common for Drew Brees to try to work with his receivers away from the team facility in the summer.

"When Joe brought that up, I thought that was key," Snead added.

Head coach John Harbaugh said, "It's always good to work the precision of the passing game. Joe really likes these guys, and these guys are champing at the bit. … They've been talking about it the whole offseason."

NOTEBOOK

JACKSON RUNS THE OFFENSE: Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson took all the reps in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on the final day of minicamp and made several strong throws. Harbaugh said the idea to give Jackson the full run of the offense came from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg earlier in the week. "He responded well," Harbaugh said of Jackson. "… Putting him out there today and giving him a chance, and putting the pressure on him to have to run the whole practice, operate the offense, was valuable." 

In a late-game simulation, with 30 seconds left and the ball starting at the opposing 30-yard, Jackson engineered two touchdown drives, hitting Chris Moore with one touchdown catch and rookie Jordan Lasley with another. C.J. Mosley, who was closest to Moore, hollered toward Moore after the play, "That would have been incomplete in a game! I would have dove!"

LEWIS SITS OUT AGAIN: Offensive lineman Alex Lewis missed all three days of minicamp with back spasms, but he is expected to be fully ready for training camp. Receiver John Brown returned to the field after missing the June 13 workout after tweaking his knee. The only new absence was rookie tight end Mark Andrews (hamstring). Others who remain sidelined include receiver Quincy Adeboyejo (knee), cornerback Maurice Canady (knee), cornerback Jaylen Hill (knee), defensive back Anthony Levine (foot), linebacker Bam Bradley (knee), guard Marshal Yanda (foot) and tight end Vince Mayle (undisclosed).

  
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Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox