"It was good to get out here, be with a lot of these young guys, a couple of new faces, and get a lot of work in," Flacco said. "It's still a long way from the season, a long way away from training camp, where we'll get most of our work done. It's always good to come out here, run around and kind of really get a feel for what we're getting ready to do. We've been off for a couple of months now, and it's good to get back to football because we love to do it and it's a lot of fun for us."
It was also the first step for the Ravens toward putting last year's AFC championship game loss, a 23-20 defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots, behind him. That game featured one of the best performances of Flacco's career, given the circumstances, but it ended in heartbreak, with Lee Evans dropping a potential game-winning touchdown pass and Billy Cundiff missing a would-be game-tying field-goal attempt.
"I think we were all pretty crushed after that one," said Flacco, who went 22 of 36 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the loss. "It probably won't be the last time that we will lose a big football game. I think the true test of a good team is how you get back up and get back after it. So far, since I've been here, we've been able to do that, and we are going to treat it the same. Obviously, it hurts and it stings, but you have to get back out here.
"We are all tough guys and understand that kind of thing happens sometimes. I think time is one thing, and getting back out here and running around and realizing that it's not the end of the world. We have to come out here and we have to come ready to play so that we can get right back there and have the same opportunity next season."
The Ravens know that in order to do that, they'll need continued growth from their offense. Flacco was inconsistent last year, setting a career low for completion percentage (57.6 percent) and having the second-fewest touchdown passes (20) of his career while tying a career high with 12 interceptions.
Flacco's inconsistency mirrored that of the Ravens' offense, which finished 15th in total offense (338.7 yards per game), 19th in passing offense (213.9 yards per game) and 12th in points per game (23.6).
"I think the sky is the limit for us," Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda said. "With Ray and Joe, we just continue to keep getting better every year, and we flashed some really good things last year. We just need to be more consistent. I think we've flashed tools to be the No. 1 offense. It was like last year, we just needed to be consistent. We could run the ball, Joe could pass the ball. We've just got to put it together, and we've got the tools, which is great. You can see the guys out there that we have, the tools with Ray and Joe, Anquan and Torrey and those guys. So we're excited about it."
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