Flacco Reveals First Impressions Of Perriman
Joe Flacco knew when the Ravens drafted Breshad Perriman that he'd be getting a big target with a 6-foot-2, 212-pound frame.
The Ravens quarterback also knew he was getting a blazing fast receiver, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds.
What Flacco didn't know was how well Perriman would extend to meet his passes and pluck them out of the air with authority.
"My first impression of him during OTAs and minicamp was a really good one, obviously not really knowing what to expect," Flacco told former Ravens head coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick in the video below (mobile users click "View in browser" to watch). "I knew he was a big, strong guy that can run, but even the way he got into the ball and caught it and just reached up and grabbed some passes during the offseason, I thought it was great. I really feel good about him."
Perriman was brought to Baltimore specifically to fill the shoes of another blazer in Torrey Smith, who caught 49 passes for 767 yards last season, including a team-high 11 touchdowns. That production isn't easy to replace, especially as a rookie.
Billick believes enough in Perriman's ability to match that production that he told fantasy fans to feel at ease about drafting him if they would have done the same with Smith as a Raven. But Billick isn't the only believer.
Both Flacco and the Ravens organization think the 21 year old can pull it off, per Billick.
"I will tell you what the Ravens think, both publicly and privately," the former Ravens Super Bowl-winning head coach said. "They think that he is going to be better than Torrey Smith.
"That's saying a lot – you're talking about a rookie coming in. Now, he's big and they actually think that in open field he's faster than Torrey Smith. He's got a steep learning curve as a wide receiver … but they really believe that with Breshad Perriman that they have not lost anything by way of Torrey Smith in terms of productivity on the field."
The potential is there, but it* *has to become a reality. And Flacco plays a key role in making it happen. That's why it's Flacco's priority to get Perriman integrated into the offense as quickly as possible.
Billick asked Flacco how he can take control of the rookie and integrate him into the system to immediately get the same level of productivity out of him as Smith.
Flacco stated the obvious: Perriman needs to get back out on the field. He's missed the fifth-straight practice with a knee bruise/strain. Head Coach John Harbaugh continues to say that Perriman is day-to-day.
While Harbaugh is giving the impression that it's a minor injury, some reporters around town are getting a little antsy.
"How many more days until you become concerned?" asked WBAL's Gerry Sandusky.
"Ravens have to have some concern at WR w/ Marlon Brown [back] and Breshad Perriman being out. They are 2 of top 4," added The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
But when Perriman does return, Flacco knows what needs to be done.
"We are going to have to rely on him early. At least, that's our thought," Flacco said.
"So, you got to make him feel a part of the team. At the same time, you've got to push him and make sure that he is on top of his stuff so that when he comes out here, he can play football and show his talent. But at the end of the day, that's what we're going to need. We need him to play fast, play good, and I think at the end of the day, you need to make him feel a part of it. You need to bring him in and do it in a positive manner."
Flacco: Forsett Can Do Some 'Damage' In Open Space
Don't be surprised if you see more of Justin Forsett the receiver this season under new Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman.
Here's a perfect example from practice Wednesday:
Billick asked Flacco whether we could see Forsett catch more "extended handoffs" as the former coach likes to call them. It's a 4- or 5-yard dump-off pass in open space, and the running back (ideally) turns them into 30-yard gains.
"I sure hope so," Flacco said. "Because I think he has the ability to do it. He's a real quick, little guy. You get him the ball in space and he can do some damage."
Forsett notched a career-high 44 catches last season. Contrast that with Chicago's Matt Forte, who notched a league-leading (among running backs) 102 receptions while playing for Trestman. Nobody is suggesting Forsett will break the 100-receptions milestone – the Ravens are built to pound the rock – but there could certainly be an increase.
"If we can add 15 more catches from him, that's going to be a big deal," Flacco said.
Flacco Trying To Appreciate The Moment
I'm sorry, but how cute is the Flacco family?
They've become the First Family of the Ravens organization. Flacco's wife, Dana, brought the three young boys to see their dad after practice Tuesday and the images from the visit are just adorable.
Flacco has come a long way from the (single) 23-year-old rookie that arrived on campus in 2008. Back then, it was Ray Lewis and Ed Reed who were the leaders of the team. Now, Flacco is the face of the franchise and is just one of four players remaining from the time he was drafted.
At 30 years old and with a growing family, Flacco feels time is going by too fast, and he's trying to appreciate the moment.
"It's just crazy how quickly eight years can go and how much your life can change in that time span. You obviously get a perspective on how much teams just turnover," Flacco said. "Even from two years ago, the Super Bowl team, we have a couple guys that are left. From the time that I came on this team in 2008 until now, I think we have four guys, including myself.
"It's just ridiculous and time flies. It just lets you know to make the most of it and you got to appreciate it* *the heck out of it, man. Because we're doing something great and I [want] to hang on to it as long as I can."
Ravens Make Classy Move Inviting Billick To Speak
If you haven't watched it yet, you should check out the motivational speech that Billick gave during the team's "Wise Word" after practice. It's excellent.
How many other teams would you see do something like this?
Billick was fired after a 5-11 season in 2007. Harbaugh took over from there and has maintained the post ever since. I love that the two coaches can honor and respect each other in such a way that Harbaugh would invite, and Billick would accept, a chance to speak to the squad.
Billick went to Twitter to express his gratitude and call the organization "classy" for the invitation.
"This [picture] speaks volumes about the class with which the Ravens operate," tweeted Russell Street Report. "Kudos to John Harbaugh and Brian Billick."
"Classy gesture by John Harbaugh to let Brian Billick address," tweeted ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
Rest Allowed A Quick Return For Dumervil
Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil has never had tendinitis before, so he wasn't sure what to expect with it. So, the Ravens just allowed him to rest in order to get back to the field after a six-day absence.
His Achilles tendon was inflamed on the first day of training camp last Thursday, but he was a full participant in the shorts-and-shells practice Wednesday and things "worked out perfectly."
Dumervil said he could have returned for the practice at M&T Bank Stadium Monday night, but there was no reason to rush the 10-year veteran back.
"It was good getting in and getting my feet going a little bit," Dumervil told The Baltimore Sun's Jon Meoli. "We just wanted to make sure it got settled down," he said. "We did precautionary steps to make sure we both felt positive coming out."
- Will Hill has best sequence of camp."Safety Will Hill put together one of the best sequences of training camp late Wednesday when he forced four incompletions in a matter of minutes against the first-team offense," wrote Jon Meoli. "He and C.J. Mosley forced Crockett Gillmore into a leaping grab in which he couldn't complete the catching act, and then Hill went off on his own. First, he broke up a pass to Steve Smith Sr. in the left side of the end zone. On the next play, he leapt to knock down a pass intended for Michael Campanaro on the other side of the end zone. And to complete the trifecta, he jumped a slow-developing route from tight end Nick Boyle over the middle to knock down another." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Daniel Brown hascatch of the day."Ravens undrafted rookie Daniel Brown used his 6-foot-5 height to create one of his personal highlights of training camp," wrote Meoli. "During red-zone drills, Brown went up with one hand and tipped a high pass to himself and over the outstretched arms of cornerback Kyle Arrington. Brown also made sure that he got both feet in bounds in the corner of the end zone." [The Baltimore Sun]
- Urban doing his best J.J 'Swatt' impression. "One player in particular that continues to impress day in and day out has been Brent Urban," wrote Brian Bower. "On Wednesday, the second-year defensive end wreaked havoc on the offense against the first- and second-team units. The former fourth-round pick was responsible for two batted balls at the line of scrimmage and two would-be sacks against Matt Schaub." [Russell Street Report]
- Where is Kyle Juszczyk? "Fullback Kyle Juszczyk looks like a player without a home in Marc Trestman's offense. On Wednesday, the 2013 fourth-round draft pick was only involved in running plays. It's not clear at this time exactly what role 'Juice' will have in 2015 but hopefully the new OC will make use of the fullback's ability to catch passes out of the backfield." [Russell Street Report]