No player on the Ravens had more on his plate during OTAs and mandatory minicamp than quarterback Joe Flacco, who is at the epicenter of new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's system.
When the mandatory minicamp ended Thursday, Flacco was decidedly upbeat about how things have progressed, both individually and collectively.
"Throughout the last couple of weeks, I've been able to get really, really comfortable, get back there, go through my reads and have a lot of fun," Flacco said in a session with reporters. "I feel great. Everything is fresh, new. It's been enjoyable."
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh praised his quarterback.
"Joe is playing very well," Harbaugh said. "I think at this stage he's playing very well. I'd love to see him against another defense today. If we were allowed to scrimmage somebody, we would have had a scrimmage out here and we'd know more, but he looks good."
The spring practices and minicamp have prepared the offense for training camp next month, Flacco said.
"Without this, we'd be starting from square one [at training cam]," Flacco said. "There's no doubt that these 13 practices have really helped us. They've given us a good kick-start into training camp."
Kubiak's offense has a different playbook and terminology than the offense the Ravens have used in recent years, and it also operates under a clear-cut philosophy: establish the run and then use play-action and quick receiving routes to establish the pass. Flacco sounded as if he is adjusting to being in such a clearly-defined system.
"There's a lot of play action and stuff like that," Flacco said. "It is definitely, 'Get the ball out of your hands because there's always a route somewhere you can get the ball out to. As a quarterback, you have to know when you have a problem and when you need to get it out.
"That's the biggest thing as far as going through your progressions and having a set progression for this and for that. There's no real guesswork. There's no real gray area. It allows you to get the ball out real quick."
What's been the biggest challenge?
"The biggest thing is getting comfortable getting the play from the coaches and making sure you spit it out right [in the huddle]," Flacco said.
"You can picture it in your mind but it's a pretty wordy system at times and you've just got to make sure you get it to your teammates in the right way so you don't confuse anybody. There's times when that happens a little bit, but I think all three quarterbacks [Flacco and backups Tyrod Taylor and Keith Wenning] have done a good job of being on top of that and having as little as possible miscommunication."
Asked how different the offense would look when the Ravens take the field in the fall, Flacco smiled and said, "It's tough to rate how different we're going to look. I hope we look a lot different because I hope we're a lot better."