As far as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is concerned, the offense is already far ahead of the learning curve.
Especially for this time of year, while the Ravens conduct a mandatory minicamp this week.
The Ravens finished 16th in total offense last season, averaging 352.5 yards with the 11th-ranked rushing offense (118.8 yards per contest) and 16th-ranked passing game (233.7 yards per contest). They were 10th in scoring, averaging 24.9 points.
"It’s going well," Flacco said. "I think we got a couple new guys out there, and I think it’s the best I’ve seen us look in terms of guys knowing where to line up and knowing what they’re doing and being able to process all of that very quickly.
"A lot of our young receivers have really taken a step forward in this offseason and took it upon themselves to make sure that they were able to get lined up quickly and know exactly what they were doing, so that way we didn’t have to worry about all that. So I’m happy with where we are, and we’ve just got a lot of progress to make, and I think we’ve got the guys that are willing to do it.”
The Ravens ranked third in the NFL with 72 offensive plays of 20 yards or more to set a franchise record.
Their scoring total of 398 points was a single-season franchise record.
However, the offense now has to deal with replacing three starters gone from last season: wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was traded to the San Francisco 49ers following a contract dispute, Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach, who was cut after no compromise could be reached to lower his $4.33 million salary-cap figure, and six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, who retired after the Super Bowl.
The Ravens, especially the defense, has undergone a lot of change and has become a much younger team with the retirement of Birk and linebacker Ray Lewis.
It's been a jarring sight for Flacco on the practice field as he familiarizes himself with his new teammates.
“It’s kind of my own fault," Flacco said. "I don’t know if I necessarily make the effort, but I probably don’t know 90 percent of the guys’ names on this team right now. Whatever number they are, I kind of recognize them by that.
"But over the next week or so, I’ll start to figure out who some of these guys are, but they look pretty good. And it’s exciting to see those new faces and just see that fresh [approach] and the enthusiasm they have, and the way they come out here to practice is just exciting.”
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