EARLY BIRD: Can Flacco make plays outside the pocket?

EARLY BIRD: Can Flacco make plays outside the pocket?
December 7, 2013, 7:00 am
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Ravens on trying to stop Adrian Peterson

(Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports)

EARLY BIRD: Waking up with the Ravens, a day before their home game against the Vikings.

Two-minute topic: Can Joe Flacco continue to make plays outside the pocket?

Flacco’s ability to make throws on the run while escaping the pocket has improved this season. The protection provided by his offensive line has not always been the greatest. But Flacco has found ways to extend plays and complete passes after escaping the rush.

“I don’t ever purposely look to do it, but I think I probably have made a little bit more of a conscious effort to maybe to it a little bit quicker, or maybe I’m getting through (progressions) quicker,” Flacco said. “I don’t know what it is. I think our line has done a good job of spreading guys out at times, so when we do get pressure, it’s not all four guys. And I think our receivers are getting better and better at getting open and really adjusting to me moving outside the pocket. So it’s a combination of a lot of things.”

Flacco’s mobility is one of his underrated strengths, and his arm allows him to make throws downfield without his feet being set. No, Flacco will never be confused with some of the NFL’s most elusive quarterbacks. But when plays break down, Flacco is finding more ways to make first downs. That could be a key for the Ravens down the stretch.

Morning thought: “He wants to make big plays. He is very aggressive, and that’s a good trait.” Ravens special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, talking about Jacoby Jones’ approach to returning kicks.

Hitting the Links

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- Game Preview: Ravens meet Vikings as December begins

- How can the Ravens stop Adrian Peterson? (VIDEO)