2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ravens look forward, not backward at training camp

    2014-07-23 12:24

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) - Not much has gone right for the Baltimore Ravens in the 17 months since they won the Super Bowl.

After defeating the San Francisco 49ers to claim their second championship, the Ravens sputtered to an 8-8 finish in 2013 and missed the playoffs for the first time since coach John Harbaugh took over in 2008.

During the past offseason five players were arrested - most notably running back Ray Rice, who is awaiting word on a possible suspension for allegedly assaulting his fiancee in Atlantic City.

Harbaugh and the Ravens will attempt to put all that behind them this summer at training camp. Beginning with the first full-team workout Thursday, Baltimore has plenty of work to do before the season opener against the defending AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals.

The primary focus will be building a cohesive attack under former Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who replaces Jim Caldwell as offensive coordinator.

''We'll figure it out,'' Kubiak said, ''and make sure on opening day we're doing what we do best.''

Here are some things the Ravens will focus on during training camp:

FLACCO'S FEET: The new offensive scheme calls for quarterback Joe Flacco to be more elusive in the pocket, which would have been a priority anyway after a season in which he absorbed a career-high 48 sacks.

''There's a lot of play action and stuff like that where (the plays) are a little bit longer in developing, so you're going to have to move around the pocket a little bit just to find the place to set up,'' Flacco said.

Flacco got a taste of the offense during the minicamp sessions and appeared to find a decent comfort level in the pocket.

''Obviously, you're going to read with your eyes, but we teach to read with your feet,'' Kubiak said. ''There are certain things going on; the ball has to get going. I'm very impressed with Joe.''

Flacco threw 22 interceptions compared to 19 touchdowns last season. That can't happen again if Baltimore is to be successful.

THE RIGHT STUFF: One of the most notable duels in camp will be at right tackle, a position that opened up when the Ravens let Michael Oher depart as a free agent.

Rick Wagner is atop the depth chart, but the second-year pro saw most of his action last year as a tight end in the ''jumbo'' package.

''He definitely shows the tools that he can be a starter for us, and he's definitely going to compete for that (right tackle) spot,'' Pro Bowl guard Marshall Yanda said.

If Wagner can't handle the job, the Ravens could turn to Ryan Jensen or left guard Kelechi Osemele.

SAFETY FIRST: Although Matt Elam started 15 games at free safety last year, the Ravens would love to make him their strong safety.

For that to happen, either free agent pickup Darian Stewart or rookie Terrence Brooks will have to distinguish themselves as the last line of defense.

Stewart has the edge in experience, having played for St. Louis. But he's had problems with injuries and started only five games for the Rams last year.

Brooks, a third-round pick out of Florida State, intends to make a run at the starting free safety job.

''Coming into a new system, it's definitely going to be challenging,'' Brooks said. ''But for the most part ... I feel like I've got a good grasp on how this defense is and the schemes.''

MR. SMITH COMES TO B-MORE: The addition of free agent wide receiver Steve Smith gives the Ravens offense the swagger it lost after Anquan Boldin was traded in the wake of Baltimore's Super Bowl win.

''It's good to have that,'' Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. ''We had it a few years ago in 81 (Boldin), and it's good to have that fire back on that side of the ball, somebody who will go out there and jab back with us and compete.''

Smith provides leadership and an extra set of accomplished hands to go with a receiving group that includes Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Dennis Pitta and newcomer Owen Daniels.

EYES ON RICE: This is a very important season for Rice, who rushed for only 660 yards last year and could begin the season serving a suspension.

Rice was bothered by a hip injury in 2013, one reason for his reduced numbers. He expects improvement in 2014, and so do the Ravens.

But expect his backups, including Bernard Pierce, to see plenty of action this summer as Baltimore prepares for the possibility of starting the schedule without the franchise's career leader in total yards from scrimmage.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group