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Joe Flacco Working On Changing Footwork

Usually, it's Joe Flacco's big arm that draws eyes. This summer, divert your attention to Flacco's feet.

The orchestration of Flacco's footwork is one of the biggest changes in new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's scheme, and something the Ravens' quarterback will focus on throughout organized team activities (OTAs).

"Something [Flacco] really has to work on is the footwork," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

"Tying the footwork to the reads in a different system is a new thing for a quarterback. So I know he understands the read progressions. He has to tie the footwork to the reads and just do it over and over again and become really good at it."

When a quarterback drops back to pass, he is going through his read progressions. Each play is designed so he looks at specific receivers in order to see if they're open.

Even though many of the routes are the same, each offense has a unique way of tying the quarterback's footwork to those read progressions.

"The West Coast offense is very – more than any offense I'm that familiar with – is very tight end-oriented, ties the footwork reads into the reads more than any other one," Harbaugh said. "It's very black and white for the quarterback, and that's what Joe is learning right now."

For example, since the offense relies heavily on the tight end, the footwork may be that Flacco takes a couple steps back while eyeing to see whether the tight end will come free. If not, then he continues to work through his receivers as he moves.

There's also additional footwork that goes into the increased amount of bootlegs, quarterback keepers with misdirection and play-action passes. All of those are Kubiak staples that work off the effectiveness of the running game. Flacco has already shown good movement in such passes.

Flacco, as is customary for him, didn't seem to think the tweak in footwork should be a problem.

"It's all the same footwork," he said. "It's just making sure that you tie it into your reads and that you can do it spot on in practice, in routes versus the air, so that when things break down a little bit, you're ready to go, you're still set and you're ready to throw."

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