Flacco trying to run young Ravens teammates into the ground

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Flacco trying to run young Ravens teammates into the ground

A year ago, Flacco was still rehabbing his surgically-repaired left knee.

Joe Flacco was at the Under Armour Performance Center at the start of last year's offseason strength and conditioning program, but he wasn't doing almost the same workout.

"I'm trying to run the 23-year-olds into the ground - if that's possible for a 6-6 quarterback to do", the 10-year veteran said Wednesday.

Flacco tore two ligaments in his left knee in the waning moments of a victory over St. Louis on November 22, 2015. "It starts with me", said Flacco who set a career high with 4,317 passing yards but ranked near the bottom of the league in yards-per-attempt and quarterback rating.

He refused to blame the knee for his uneven play.

Another thing Flacco thinks is nice about this offseason is the opportunity it provides for him to work with wide receiver Breshad Perriman, who dealt with a knee injury of his own as a rookie in 2015. "I think it's going to build us to be more mentally tough", added Weddle.

Still, he hopes that hitting the ground running in April will pay dividends this fall.

"Everything will be better", Flacco said. "You can just attack it with a little bit more oomph". "Whenever you have guys that are working really hard and you have that camaraderie out here and everybody is looking to get better and you're just developing relationships, I think that's all going to help when we get to the field".

Now 32, Flacco is five seasons removed from being Super Bowl MVP in Baltimore's 34-31 win over San Francisco.

So he'd better be good if Baltimore is to have a shot at avoiding a third straight year without reaching the playoffs. With Flacco recovering previous year, the two players have had a limited amount of time to work together and they need to develop chemistry with the Ravens thin on wideouts beyond Perriman and Mike Wallace. Safety Eric Weddle watched Flacco run Tuesday and said he saw no "hiccup" in his stride, which was evident at times previous year. Seeing him run, and seeing the effort he's putting in lifting, there's no hiccup in his running form. "He's getting after it", said Weddle about how Flacco looks during the workouts. "He's getting after it".

Flacco had an up-and-down season previous year. Then again, he won't have to slide if he can rumble all the way to the end zone.

"Hopefully we can some more scrambles out of him", receiver Mike Wallace said.

As the cliché goes, what a difference a year makes. "We'll see about that", Wallace joked.

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