Ravens looking ahead to preseason opener Thursday
Joe Flacco wants a taste of game action Thursday night when the Ravens open the preseason against the Buccaneers.
“I haven’t been hit since what, Feb. 3?” Flacco said following Tuesday’s practice. “My neck will be sore for a little bit after I get hit for the first time. It always gets you going when you get hit. It reminds you that you play football.”
It remains to be seen how much Flacco will play against Tampa Bay. Coach John Harbaugh was coy when asked about playing time for starters. The last thing the Ravens need is more injuries, so Harbaugh may be cautious with first-string players.
“How much we play them (starters) remains to be seen,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got a plan.”
Flacco is obviously game-ready, throwing the ball crisply during practices. A highlight of training camp has been the trash talking between Flacco and linebacker Terrell Suggs.
“I think it builds camaraderie,” Flacco said. “I think everybody likes it. I think Suggs has a little bit more experience in the matter. I don’t know if I’d want to go too deep into it with him.”
Tuesday was Flacco’s first meeting with the media since his close friend, tight end Dennis Pitta, was lost for the season with a fractured hip. Flacco has been in regular contact with Pitta.
“You feel sorry for him, but when you go hang out with him, and you see how he’s doing, his spirits are the same,” Flacco said. “He seems to be great, handling it really well. It’s one of those freak things, but we’ll have to adjust. Obviously you’re going to miss a guy like that. But we’ll adjust.”
Defensive end Chris Canty, acquired in free agency from the Giants, is enjoying Flacco’s steady demeanor. Canty said he saw similarities between Flacco and Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
“They both want to put the dagger in the heart of the other football team,” Canty said. “I think Joe is just going to talk to the other football team while he does it. You love to see the confidence exuded from Joe, the command that he has in the huddle. It energizes other guys.”
However, Flacco may have to save some of that energy for later in the preseason.