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Joe Flacco not fretting over Ravens offensive line

Joe Flacco sits on the ground in front of linemen Rick Wagner and James Hurst after a sack in the first quarter.
Joe Flacco sits on the ground in front of linemen Rick Wagner and James Hurst after a sack in the first quarter. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

When Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco took his first snap in the full-squad portion of Wednesday's practice, three of his usual five starting linemen were nowhere to be found.

Despite that — and a shaky performance by the offensive line last Sunday — Flacco said he has no concerns about the group.

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"I'm not even thinking about that," Flacco said. "Three out of five games, I haven't really been touched. This past week, it's really the situation that we have to fix as a whole group. It has been third and fourth [down] once, or less, and that's really what those sacks came on, really short-yardage plays that we have to have confidence that we can protect or run block in any way and get one yard.

"It's disappointing in all that we haven't been able to do that, and we didn't do it this [past] week either."

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After not being sacked for three consecutive games, Flacco was sacked four times by the Colts and hit six total times. He doesn't expect that to continue against the Buccaneers.

"I think [the offensive line is] playing great, and I think they're doing a great job and will continue to," he said.

Them again

The Ravens have played the Buccaneers only once in the John Harbaugh era, but for wide receiver Steve Smith, the trip to Raymond James Stadium Sunday will feel like business as usual.

As a former member of the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay's NFC South rival, Smith has played the Buccaneers 22 times during his career. His 98 catches and 1,404 receiving yards against them are the second most he's produced against any team, trailing just the New Orleans Saints.

"It's a team I'm familiar with over the years, but at the same time, they do have some new players," Smith said. "They are running a different scheme. They are establishing a new regime. … Familiarity is maybe of the stadium and the lay of the land, but I think they are a different team. You've got to be a little cautious with that."

End zone

Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak took the blame for the Ravens running the ball just 15 times against the Colts. "We're always looking for balance," he said. "I have to do a better job than I did last week with that." … Defensive coordinator Dean Pees praised the progress that Lardarius Webb has made in returning from a back injury, saying, "I think he's coming back more and more all the time. So, I feel like he's going to be back to where he was in a very short amount of time." Webb likely will start at cornerback Sunday with Asa Jackson out with a toe injury. … The Ravens cut cornerback Lou Young from the practice squad to make room for tight end Phillip Supernaw. … Quarterback Josh McCown (thumb), wide receiver Vincent Jackson (rib), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (hamstring) and defensive backs Dashon Goldson (ankle) and Jonathan Banks (neck) didn't practice Thursday for the Buccaneers.

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