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Gary Kubiak 'Very Impressed' With Offense, Joe Flacco

Posted Jul 27, 2014

The offense had a strong day, especially on third down, in the Ravens' first full-contact practice.

Usually the offense lags behind the defense a bit in training camp because the offense is more based around timing, which takes more time to develop.

One would think that Baltimore’s offense would be especially behind this year considering it’s installing Offensive Coordinator’s Gary Kubiak’s brand-spanking-new system.

But during Saturday’s first full-contact practice, the offense and defense were even, with maybe the offense even a tad ahead.

“I’ve been very impressed,” Kubiak said of his offense afterwards.

“I want to say that’s maybe 15, 16, 17 practices for us, and if you count all of the offseason and camp, it’s kind of about the third time we’re going through our system in teaching it. I think they’ve adjusted very well.”

Kubiak has his eyes on the entire unit, but particularly on the franchise quarterback under center – Joe Flacco. Flacco has looked sharp thus far in training camp.

While he had a few interceptions during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp, he has had a high completion percentage through the first three full-team training camp practices.

“The most important thing is [Joe Flacco] has adjusted extremely well,” Kubiak said. “He has to lead the pack, and he’s done that from Day 1. He has a total command of what’s going on right now and he’s trying to figure out the things he’s very comfortable with. With the things he’s not [comfortable with], I have to get him comfortable.”

Flacco was particularly sharp on third down during Saturday’s practice. The first-team got stuck three times in third-and-8 or third-and-7 situations during its most game-like series. Once, Flacco found fullback Kyle Juszczyk leaking out for a first down. Another time, he lobbed an easy pass to tight end Dennis Pitta. On another, he squeezed in a pass to tight end Owen Daniels.

“His ability to go through progressions, to me, is exceptional,” Kubiak said. “He’s bought into the boom-boom-boom stuff we teach as far as your feet [go]. We teach guys to read with their feet and get the ball going.

“There’s not a play Joe can’t make. It’s fun for me to work with [him]. I’ve had a chance to work with some really good ones, and this has been a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to him doing big things this year.”

It’s not just centered on Flacco. The Ravens have to run the ball better than they did last year, and did so fairly effectively in Saturday’s practice.

Running back Ray Rice, who is still taking the majority of carries with the first team, broke loose a couple of times and there were hardly any stops for negative yardage, something that really hampered the ground game a year ago.

The offensive line also has to protect Flacco better after he took the second-most sacks (48) in the league last year. Right tackle Rick Wagner held up well on Saturday going against premier pass rusher Elvis Dumervil.

“The leaders on the offensive side of the ball – Joe, Ray [Rice], Marshal [Yanda], those guys – they’re ahead of everybody else,” Kubiak said. “That’s the way it should be.”

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