The much talked about off-site, offseason throwing sessions between Joe Flacco and his receivers did, in fact, happen.
Flacco and several of his receivers and tight ends met two times last week at a park across the street from the Under Armour Performance Center, wide receiver Willie Snead IV reported Wednesday as the Ravens veterans reported for training camp.
They didn’t publicize the meeting on social media, so there were questions as to whether it actually happened, as Flacco had promised at the end of minicamp.
“A few kids actually saw us – a group of kids playing football,” Snead said with a chuckle. “It was fun, just being out in that type of environment is cool.”
It’s the first time since 2011 that Flacco has gotten together with his receivers for extra work outside of organized practice.
There’s good reason this year with so many new targets: wide receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Snead and rookie tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
“It was a good group. We got a lot of good work in,” Snead said. “Just that timing and building that relationship. We had only known each other for a few months, so that extra time is very beneficial especially when we’re trying to do something special this season.”
Coming from playing with quarterback Drew Brees in New Orleans, Snead stressed the importance of sharpening the passing game’s timing. A couple days of extra practice isn’t a make-or-break activity, but any additional work, even if there are no defenders, can help with that.
“That type of time together is beneficial – just later down the stretch in the season – and just being on the same page with different routes, and knowing the receiver, the quarterback and what he’s thinking, what I’m thinking,” Snead said.
Snead has been impressed with the way Flacco has related to his new group of receivers.
“I think Joe as a person is just open to change, very open to new ideas,” Snead said. “That’s one thing that’s great for a receiver: when your quarterback can relate to you and give his ideas at the same time, so that way you’re on the same page.”