“Ever since we lost Ray, we haven’t had the type of back quite like Ray was and quite like (Danny Woodhead) is in the passing game,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “They just have a very good feel for when they’re open, how to get open, how to sit in holes, how to find my eyes.”
“He was somebody that we targeted early in free agency and signed him right out of the gate,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s a very versatile running back for us. He can carry the ball, but he’s a big part of the passing game.”
Woodhead is an elite pass-catcher and an underrated runner. With Kenneth Dixon suspended for the first four games, Woodhead will form a committee with Terrance West. He should continue to be a good value in PPR formats. Keep in mind that Ray Rice averaged 4.25 receptions per game in his final five seasons in Baltimore, so if Woodhead's role is similar, he has 60- to 70-catch upside.
"Marty believes in running the football, and I believe in running the football," Harbaugh said. "We have not run the football well enough or enough, really, for the last two years. That has to change, and I think it goes hand-in-hand with being good at it and doing it a lot more than we do it."
Dixon could be the back trending up the most here, and before he got hurt in the offseason, some who followed the team felt he'd eventually take over as the lead back in 2016. The Ravens never really trusted a rookie back to carry the load, but Dixon was certainly involved this season and has a chance to have a bigger role in 2017.
ter it worked last week, the Ravens plan to go to the no-huddle more frequently.
The team employed a hurry-up offense that exploded for 22 points in the second half of Thursday night’s 28-7 victory over the Cleveland Browns, coach John Harbaugh said going no-huddle should be a staple of the offensive menu for the remainder of the season.
Related players: Joe Flacco
Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg made the decision at halftime to loosen the reins on an offense that had recorded 14 first downs and 164 yards in the first half, but trailed 7-6 at intermission. Flacco, who had thrown just one touchdown pass in the three games prior to Thursday's, tossed three in a span of 18 minutes, 20 seconds during the second half. He completed 13-of-17 passes for 163 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the half.
According to a report from ESPN, Baltimore did not promote practice squad quarterback David Fales to the 53-man roster.
Friday, October 21, 2016, 6:26pm
Ravens QB Joe Flacco (right shoulder, questionable) took full practice reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 7. The full practice indicates that Flacco will play this week. The Ravens play early on Sunday and Flacco has a nice matchup with the Jets, who have struggled against the pass all year.
Thursday, October 20, 2016, 6:10pm
Ravens QB Joe Flacco (right shoulder) missed practice again Thursday. HC John Harbaugh said that Flacco has a “legitimate shot” to play in Week 7, so this is a situation to monitor. Ryan Mallett is the backup. The Ravens play early on Sunday.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 6:41pm
Ravens QB Joe Flacco (right shoulder) did not practice Wednesday. HC John Harbaugh said that Flacco has a “legitimate shot” to play in Week 7, so this is a situation to monitor. Ryan Mallett is the backup. The Ravens play early on Sunday.
Through the first quarter of the season, the Ravens' passing attack has been anything but dynamic. It's been dink-and-dunk.
Flacco has thrown the second-most passes under five yards this season and ranks 30th in the NFL with an average of 6.3 yards per pass attempt. This style of conservative offense frustrates one of the strongest-armed quarterbacks in the NFL.
“We just make it so tough on ourselves,” Flacco said. “We throw the ball 50 times, and we only have 300 yards. You know, we have to move the ball down the field so methodically.”
Part of the problem has been giving Flacco time to throw deep. He was under pressure for 17 pass attempts Sunday, which led the league.
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.
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