Joe Flacco

© Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens Aim to Revitalize Deep Passing Attack

June 25, 2018 - 3:52 pm

By Tim Barbalace

The first positive trait that comes to mind when describing Joe Flacco is his strong arm.  That wasn't on display in 2017 as Flacco had a career low of 28 pass plays over 20 yards and only five over 40 yards.   In comparison, Flacco had a career-high of 60 passes over 20 yards during the 2012 season.  

“Someone kind of joked in my ear that we made and completed more deep balls in practice today than we did the whole offseason last year,” Coach John Harbaugh said. “I feel like that has to be a big part of who we are.”

The Ravens offense is typically at its best when Joe Flacco plays like a gunslinger.  Ozzie Newsome fulfilled his promise of revamping the receiving core to give Flacco some much-needed help.

Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead are all proven receivers who have put up numbers, but Brown is the only deep threat out of the bunch.  Brown had a career year in 2015 as he had over 1,000 yards, seven touchdowns and recorded 15.5 yards per catch.  Brown has struggled with injuries over the past few seasons, which has drastically limited his productivity.

Crabtree and Snead can provide targets in the intermediate range and also help on third downs.  Chris Moore has the speed to stretch the field but has to show he can catch the ball consistently.  The Ravens also drafted Jordan Lasley who averaged 18.3 yards per catch, but there are questions about his hands and whether he could be an immediate contributor.

There are questions surrounding every receiver on the roster, but on paper, this group looks stronger than last year's unit.  Joe Flacco has reportedly looked healthy and motivated this offseason.  The hope is that the progress being made during OTA's and minicamp will translate on the field in September.