The Ravens offense is in a much different place compared to where it was a year ago.
The most significant difference is that quarterback Joe Flacco is full-go right now, and he didn't even practice in last year's minicamp as he recovered from a torn ACL.
The contrast was most notable in Wednesday's practice when the Ravens quarterback rolled to his left and then sprinted through the middle of the defense and ran about 40 yards downfield for a touchdown. Flacco isn't known for his wheels – he's typically not one to tuck and run in practice – and the play seemed to catch everyone off guard as he cruised into the end zone.
Now none of the defenders are going to risk coming remotely close to putting a hit on the franchise quarterback in practice, but the play was a still a reminder of how Flacco is in a much better place going into this season. Flacco wasn't even wearing a brace on his left knee during practice.
Here are some of the other news and notes from the second day of minicamp:
- New receiver Jeremy Maclin made his debut in a Ravens uniform. He's been on the roster for less than 24 hours, so his role was limited. He went through individual drills and was used sparingly in 11-on-11 action. The Ravens want to give him some time to get acclimated to the playbook and how the Ravens run a practice.
- The Ravens had a welcomed visitor at practice as tight end Dennis Pitta watched the action in a golf cart alongside Owner Steve Bisciotti. Several of Pitta's former teammates and coaches came up to him during and after practice to wish him well in his recovery from his third major hip injury. Pitta was using crutches as he moved around, and he is planning to talk with the media Thursday.
- Safety Anthony Levine had a nice day of practice. He brought down a tipped pass for an interception along the sidelines (there was some debate about whether he was in bounds), and he came up with another interception later in the day.
- Rookie defensive lineman Chris Wormley seems like he knows how to use his size to his advantage. The 6-foot-5 defender constantly looks for ways to get his arms in passing lanes, and he batted down a pass in practice.
- Wide receiver Mike Wallace likes to remind people that he's not just a deep threat, and he showed that in red-zone drills against cornerback Jimmy Smith. Wallace pulled off a shifty move to get separation from Smith and then made a difficult outstretched catch for the touchdown.
- The punt returner competition will be interesting to watch this summer. The Ravens have a large contingency taking reps at the position, including veteran defensive back Lardarius Webb, receivers Keenan Reynolds, Tim White, Aaron Bailey and C.J. Board, and running back Taquan Mizzell.