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Boldin Playing In Midseason Form



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Joe Flacco had been throwing to wideouts Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth for a while this offseason, Friday's minicamp was a good time to show off his new weapons in front of a throng of media observers.

It might only be the first full-team session, but the overhaul of the Ravens' passing attack was obvious.

"These guys are great receivers," Flacco said of Boldin and Stallworth.   "They all are, and once we get [the offense] down, they're going to be out there, and it's going to be a lot of fun.  Right now, I think we're just trying to get our feet under us and go have some fun."

Of course, there was stalwart veteran Derrick Mason, squawking at the defense, officials and even his own teammates with a wide smile beaming under his facemask.

Mason and the newcomers seemed to get along just fine.

Several times throughout practice, Flacco dropped back and found Boldin separating from a defender as he crossed the middle.  On others, the speedy Stallworth ran fluid routes to snatch a Flacco pass out of the air.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was happy with what he saw.

"Anquan looked good today," coach Harbaugh said of the five-time 1,000-yard receiver.  "He taught the young guys a little bit [about] man coverage underneath; you saw he got himself open pretty clearly against some of the rookie corners. [He's] a veteran and he looks like he's kind of in midseason form."

Regarding Stallworth, Harbaugh noted, "He's got good hands and he looked quick; I thought he looked explosive. What you do when you see a guy like that jump out on a day like this, you see the work he's put in through the last couple of months."

Yet even coming off of spring football schools, there were a few miscues.

On the first full-team play of the day, Flacco looked for Boldin in the end zone on a deep post and slightly overthrew him.

"It felt good getting out today," said Boldin after the workout.  "Everybody has those first-day jitters.  For myself, I'm just trying to get out here and get familiar with my surroundings."

Stallworth had a miscommunication later when he did not turn back for a Flacco pass on a timing route.

"It's a process," Stallworth explained.  "Luckily, we have some time.  Guys are just trying to gel right now, still trying to find their way."

Mason has always been in Flacco's sightline, as he's been the Ravens' top receiver for the past two seasons. 

The completions to No. 85 were familiar Friday morning, with numerous balls going to Mason near the sideline to move the chains.   

The challenge is reaching that same level of comfort with Boldin and Stallworth.

Fortuitously, Flacco and Co. began that process weeks ago, and the early rewards were evident.

"It was a great start; we were out there practicing about as fast as you can," said Flacco.  "So, to come out there and practice with the tempo we did today and see how good everybody was on the same page was pretty promising for us."

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