Last year, Mike Wallace arrived at training camp and told Baltimore reporters not to overlook him. He was coming off a down season in Minnesota, but Wallace was headed for a rebound, he said.
Sure enough, the veteran wideout posted 1,000 yards for the first time since 2011 and led the Ravens in receiving.
Well, this year Wallace wants people to heed his new warning: don't sleep on the offense.
As the Ravens reported to training camp Wednesday, whatever positive chatter there is about the team centers around the defense. It was already one of the league's best last year, and that was before it was financially bolstered in free agency and beefed up with the team's first four picks in the draft. The offense is being either questioned or overlooked.
"I don't care what anybody says, they'll see soon enough," Wallace said. "I know our defense, it's going to be great, but they're not going to carry us at all. The offense is going to come and do its part.
"We're not trying to be carried by anybody, no matter if we have the best defense in the league. If that's the case, that's great, but nobody is going to carry us. We're going to carry our own load."
Baltimore's offense finished 17th in the league last year (347.7 yards per game). The Ravens were 21st in the NFL in points per game (21.4).
The offense has only finished the regular season ranked higher than the defense three times in franchise history. It happened in 1996 and 1997 – the team's first two seasons. The last time it occurred was in 2012 – when the Ravens won the Super Bowl.
Entering training camp, there's no denying that most of Baltimore's question marks do reside on the offensive side of the ball.
Will Joe Flacco return to his Super Bowl form? Who is going to start at center and right tackle on the offensive line? Who can stay healthy and emerge at tight end? What's the running back situation now that Kenneth Dixon is out for the year, and can the Ravens rejuvenate their rushing attack?
The Ravens have a lot to figure out during training camp, but they have the advantage of stability with returning Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and an infusion of new ideas with Senior Offensive Assistant/Tight Ends Coach Greg Roman.
"I really don't care what anybody says. I know what we have. I know every single day how hard these guys work and the coaches we have around us and what they stand for," Wallace said.
"We're going to ball out, man. I don't care what anybody says, they'll see soon enough."