Consistently getting open in the middle of the field, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta caught nine passes for 102 yards. In just his second game back after a nearly two-year absence, he produced his second-most receiving yards of his career.
"I see what Dennis is doing and, man, I'm inspired," Ravens wide receiver Steve L Smith Sr. said. "It's great to play with a guy like that. To see how he's playing after what he went through, and seeing him shifty and being the old Dennis, it's fantastic."
The chemistry between Pitta and quarterback Joe Flacco is remarkable considering they haven't been on the field together much. Pitta didn't play all of last year, and he missed a month of training camp with a fractured finger. When Pitta practiced during the spring, Flacco was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery.
Flacco threw to Pitta five times on third downs, completing four passes (all led to first downs). No one else on the Ravens caught more than two throws on third down. Pitta certainly seems worth a pickup if you're struggling at the position as the chemistry aspect should only get better the longer they can remain on the field together. The Ravens' other tight ends -- Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams -- have combined for two catches for 27 yards. Comparatively, Pitta has a team-leading 12 receptions for 141 yards through the first two weeks of the season.
“Kenneth Dixon has had a run each week where you thought he was down for five seconds and he gets 6, 7, 8, 9 more yards out of it,” Flacco said.
"You can see in practice how shifty he is and how well he sees things and some of the cuts he makes. I think he has been pretty impressive transferring that over to the games.”
Dixon leads the Ravens running backs in rushing yards (66) and yards per carry (4.1) through the first two preseason games.
Dixon's ADP has dipped into the 15th round, so he's a cheap way to buy a share of the Ravens' backfield lottery.
Baltimore signed Mike Wallace in free agency because his speed complemented Joe Flacco's strong arm. But he has been more than a "one trick pony," a nickname playfully given to him by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
Wallace has caught passes on fade routes in the end zone. He has pulled in tough catches on back-shoulder throws. He has been a frequent target on underneath routes.
"Mike is awesome," Flacco said. "I think he is going to be a really big hit for us."
"We all know he can run," Flacco said. "But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been. I don't know if I've seen him drop a pass."
Steve L Smith is coming off of an Achilles injury, Breshad Perriman has already had a knee scare, while Kamar Aiken continues to fly under the radar. Wallace finished #74 in PPR formats last season as it turned out that he wasn’t a good fit with Teddy Bridgewater’s deep ball inaccuracy. Joe Flacco can wing it, so his arm would seem to be a good match for Wallace’s deep speed. Prior to last year, Wallace had five straight top-25 finishes, though his age and his production in 2015 has scared most owners away. This is a camp battle to monitor this summer: if Wallace wins a starting job -- and it appears that he will -- then he’ll be firmly on the fantasy radar.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t need any time on the physically unable to perform list to ease himself into training camp after spending the offseason recovering from a torn ACL, but that doesn’t mean everything has returned to the way things were before the injury.
That’s not a problem for Flacco, however. He’s taken every snap the team has wanted him to take during practice even though he doesn’t feel like his knee has fully recovered from the injury.
“My knee is not 100 percent, but it feels great,” Flacco said, via ESPN.com. “I don’t think about it when I’m out there. It’s not perfect. I can feel it standing here right now a little bit. It’s not totally normal. But, as far as going out there and operating on the field, running around and doing things, I don’t pay attention to it.”
Flacco didn’t play in the preseason opener and there’s been no word from the team at this point about whether he’ll be playing against the Colts this week. If he doesn’t, that would likely leave the third preseason game as his only opportunity for live action before the regular season. Flacco is OK if that’s the case, saying it “doesn’t take too long” for him to regain the feel for game speed, the story said.
Flacco didn’t want to say he’s surprised by how good Wallace has been, because he didn’t know much about Wallace, but he’s certainly happy.
“Mike is awesome,” Flacco said Tuesday. “I think he is going to be a really big hit for us.”
Unlike last year, Flacco has another option in Wallace with Breshad Perriman still out. On Tuesday, Flacco lofted a deep pass for Wallace. The throw was a bit short and tipped by cornerback Jimmy Smith, but Wallace still ran underneath it for the score.
It’s been more than a deep-ball connection, however, that has impressed Flacco so much.
“We all know he can run,” Flacco said. “But just the way he runs his routes and how good is he at the top of it and coming back to you, and how sure his hands have been – I don’t know if I’ve seen him drop a pass. That stuff has been great.”
The Ravens have not had a deep threat since Torrey Smith moved on to the 49ers, and this isn't the first time Flacco has praised Wallace. According to the story, Wallace has also run a lot of intermediate and even shorter routes that could lead to higher reception totals and a place among the Ravens’ top-two receivers. Prior to last year, Wallace had five-straight top-25 finishes, though his age and his production in 2015 has scared most owners away. This is a camp battle to monitor this summer – if Wallace wins a starting job, then he’ll be firmly on the fantasy radar.
Joe Flacco was wearing a brace on his left knee. That, I can confirm. Otherwise, I saw nothing during a full-pads Baltimore Ravens training camp practice Sunday morning that told me Flacco is in any way limited just eight months removed from tearing his ACL and MCL.
You won't find a medical degree on my office wall, but what I do know is that I saw none of the clues that can tip off observers about health concerns.
The author reminded everyone full and immediate recovery from ACL injuries should not be taken for granted. That's especially true for Flacco, considering the relatively brief time since surgery and the always-lurking possibility of side effects. (Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, for one, opened training camp on the physically unable to perform after a "hiccup" with his knee more than 11 months after originally tearing his ACL.) Most notably, Flacco continued to take all first-team repetitions, the story went on to say.
Pitta didn’t practice at all last year as his twice-broken and dislocated hip was never well enough for him to get on the field. Pitta contemplated retirement in the offseason, but restructured his contract with the team in order to give it another go.
After the first two practices, Pitta told reporters that he’s not thinking about his hip unless he’s being asked about it and that he feels his chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t suffered as a result of his long layoff.
It won’t be easy, but it will be on quarterback Joe Flacco and offensive coordinator Marc Trestman to get everyone involved. However they do it, Aiken deserves a prominent role.
It's difficult to project the Baltimore receiving corps. Steve L Smith seems to be the WR1 if healthy, but he's 37 years old and coming off of a season-ending injury. Breshad Perriman was a 1st round pick and the team signed Mike Wallace in the offseason. Aiken was the most productive receiver in 2015 and is certainly the best bet to replace Smith if he were to miss any time.
“I plan on him having a huge impact,” Flacco said, via the team’s website. “I think he’s a talented guy. He can run, he can catch, he can do a lot of things. I’m planning on him coming in here and having a big impact on our football team and helping us win a lot of games.”
The Ravens went on to finish 5-11, their first sub-.500 record since they made Flacco their starter as a rookie back in 2008, and Flacco got started on a rehab process that he hopes will have him ready to start training camp on time.
Saturday, he offered an update on his progress after taking a few leisurely jump shots at teammate Torrey Smith’s charity basketball game, according to the Ravens’ website:
“I can’t complain,” Flacco said. “I’m getting better and better each week. “To be honest with you, I believe [I’m on track for training camp], but it’s not like I’ve been told a timeline or anything like that. I can’t really say one way or another.
“I can tell each week that by the end of the week I’m feeling sore and I’m hurting, and by the next Monday I’m feeling better than I did last Monday.”
Mike Wallace signed with the Ravens on Tuesday for two years at the same $11.5 million in salary and said at a press conference that he’s looking forward to playing with Joe Flacco, whose years with Baltimore have featured plenty of deep balls that turned into catches or pass interference penalties.
“You have a quarterback that can really sling the ball,” Wallace said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “That’s what I need.”
There are a lot of question marks in the Ravens receiving corps, but things should look a lot better than they did this year if Wallace revive his deep threat credentials while Steve Smith and Breshad Perriman return from injuries in good form.
Wallace is a good fit for Joe Flacco's big arm. The Ravens didn't have a deep threat last season with Torrey Smith gone and Breshad Perriman on the shelf. Wallace is past his prime but he's bound to have a few big games given his ability to go deep. Consider him a WR5 type if Perriman is healthy.
Flacco said the sides hammered out the three-year extension quicker than he anticipated, and the deal was essentially completed earlier in the week.
The three-year agreement is worth $66.4 million and includes an NFL record $40 million signing bonus, a source told ESPN's Adam Caplan. This allows the Ravens to keep their franchise quarterback under contract through 2021 and alleviates some restless nights in the future for general manager Ozzie Newsome.
The touchdowns weren't impressive (14), but Flacco averaged 41.3 pass attempts and 279 yards passing in 10 games before tearing his ACL in November. He was on pace for 661 pass attempts and 4,464 yards, which would have been good for 1st and 6th in 2015. He'll be far off the fantasy radar in one-QB leagues, but with Marc Trestman at offensive coordinator and what should be an improved (i.e. healthy) stable of weapons, Flacco will be in the streaming discussion when he has a favorable matchup.
The Ravens lost another one of their top playmakers.
Already playing without quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Justin Forsett and wide receiver Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens watched starting tight end Crockett Gillmore leave today's game against the Miami Dolphins with a back injury.
Gillmore made a seven-yard catch in the first quarter and was drilled to the ground by Koa Misi and Michael Thomas. It isn't clear whether that was the play on which Gillmore was hurt.
In his second season, Gillmore has been a revelation this year for the Ravens. He entered the game with 32 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns in nine games.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 5:08pm
Baltimore officially placed Joe Flacco (ACL/MCL) on season-ending injured reserve.
Clausen worked with Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman for the past two seasons in Chicago, which gives him a mental leg up in joining Baltimore midway through the season. He already knows the framework of the system.
"I think it's probably way early and obviously speculative, but the indications that I've been given would be that he would be back for the start of training camp and it wouldn't be an issue," Harbaugh said Monday. "However, as we all know, those are always things that get determined based on how the rehab goes."
Good news for Flacco owners. Like Harbaugh said, it's certainly possible there are setbacks in rehab, but the timetable he was given indicates Flacco will be ready for camp next summer.
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