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Joe Flacco Looking Forward To Dome

Posted Dec 15, 2013

After bearing terrible weather conditions, the Ravens will be in a controlled climate.

The Ravens played in a deluge in Tampa Bay during the preseason. They played under the threat of a tornado, 50 mile-an-hour winds and in the mud in Chicago. Minnesota brought the first snow bowl to M&T Bank Stadium last week.

What’s next? Earthquake? Volcano eruption?

No, the cozy confines of climate-controlled Ford Field await on Monday Night Football, and you can count quarterback Joe Flacco among those who are happy for the weather respite.

“I never make a big deal about playing outside, but every time you go into a dome and you start warming up, you realize how awesome it is to be able to throw the ball inside,” Flacco said.

The last time the Ravens played in a dome was when they won Super Bowl XLVII.

It will be nice to play indoors,” tight end Dennis Pitta said. “We don’t have to worry about what the wind conditions will be, the precipitation in the air. We get to just go play football and focus on that.”

Flacco and Pitta aren’t the only ones happy to be indoors. The Ravens have gotten a respite from practicing outdoors in the chilly temperatures this week in Owings Mills too.

“I’m actually thrilled about it; I’m not going to lie,” cornerback Jimmy Smith said. “Being inside on the fast turf, no weather … It’s going to be perfect for both teams, so both teams should be at their best.”

The game should be faster, which helps the Ravens considering they have plenty of speed, especially at wide receiver. It could lead to more big plays.

The Ravens offense has been producing better in recent games despite the poor weather, which also included high winds against the Bengals and Jets in addition to the rain in Chicago and snow against Minnesota.

Flacco said the offense struggled in the first half against Minnesota because the snow threw the timing off on many plays. Once they got their footing on the snow-plowed field, the offense had 222 yards of offense in the second half, including 80 yards in 41 seconds to end the game.

Flacco said he doesn’t think the improved conditions will help much, however.

“It won’t have too much of an effect on the outcome of the game,” he said. “As a quarterback, you always want great conditions, and a dome obviously presents that, but we’re still going to have to go play fundamental football and take care of business.”

“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing in a parking lot,” safety James Ihedigbo added. “Football is football.”

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