It's still early – very early – but Joe Flacco is impressed with the Ravens offense.
After the start to the team's three-day mandatory minicamp yesterday, the sixth-year quarterback expressed optimism about where the unit is at this point.
"It's the best I've seen us look in terms of guys knowing where to line up and knowing what they're doing and being able to process all of that very quickly," Flacco said.
One of the big questions and most-discussed issues facing the Ravens this offseason is the competition at wide receiver. The team traded No. 1 receiver Anquan Boldin to the 49ers, and now it's up to players like Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, Jacoby Jones, Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson to pick up the slack.
While the competition at receiver is still wide open, Flacco pointed out that the group overall has made significant strides from the end of last season.
"A lot of our young receivers have really taken a step forward in this offseason and took it upon themselves to make sure that they were able to get lined up quickly and know exactly what they were doing, so that way we didn't have to worry about all that," Flacco said.
The young wideouts are all getting plenty of reps during minicamp practices. Doss, Thompson, David Reed and LaQuan Williams all have their opportunities to build a rapport with Flacco, and each of them has shown glimpses of potential.
The Ravens are counting on somebody to emerge throughout the course of training camp and the preseason.
"I'm happy with where we are and we just got a lot of progress to make and I think we got the guys that are willing to do it," Flacco said.
The Ravens are in a period of transition this offseason after parting ways with a number of veterans from the Super Bowl team. The practice field is filled with plenty of new faces, and Flacco joked that he still doesn't know the names of about 90 percent of his teammates.
As part of the transition, the offense has to replace three starters – Boldin, fullback Vonta Leach and center Matt Birk – and Flacco said the mentality of the team won't change even amidst all the transition.
"We come in here, and this is our job, and it's what we love to do and we have fun doing it," Flacco said. "No matter what the talk is – because we lost last year, because we won this year – at the end of the day, you still come in here, you go through meetings and you go have fun on the practice field.
"It's exciting to see those new faces and just see that fresh, and the enthusiasm they have, and the way they come out here to practice is just exciting."