A couple of notes from ESPN's Ravens reporter, Jamison Hensley, today:
Quarterback Joe Flacco told Hensley that he is "gaining a comfort level" with Gary Kubiak's offense, but knows that what he's done so far is peanuts compared to what lies ahead in training camp.
"This is where it counts," Flacco said.
Meanwhile, the team is still awaiting word on Ray Rice and his looming suspension. There has been no indication of when Commissioner Roger Goodell will make his judgement, but head coach John Harbaugh would like to have some clarity before the Ravens' third preseason game.
"We're installing [the offense and defense] for the first six days [of training camp] and work situations through the first two preseason games," Harbaugh said to Hensley. "Once we get past the second preseason game, then we'll need to know. Whenever they're ready to let us know, we'll be ready to hear it."
Rice is expected to receive a multi-game suspension for allegedly striking his fiancée unconscious in February. The two have since married. Rice avoided a trial by being accepted into a pretrial intervention program in May. The third-degree charge of aggravated result will be dropped upon his completion of the program.
Rice was one of five Ravens arrested during the offseason.
Flacco has a nice group of receivers -- Torrey Smith , Steve Smith , Dennis Pitta, Marlon Brown -- and Kubiak's type of offense should bring the best out of him. However, Flacco's best through six seasons hasn't been good enough to make him a QB1. His ceiling is 4,000 yards with 23-25 touchdowns. Ten years ago, that would have been something. In today's NFL, those numbers are old hat for a bunch of quarterbacks. But as a QB2, you could do worse.
Rice has dropped into flex territory after an alarmingly poor 2013 season and the expectation that he will miss at least two games due to his suspension. He should still be Baltimore's leading rusher, but Bernard Pierce is in line to start those games that Rice misses. He also didn't run well last season but that opportunity, with a chance for more if Rice can't hold up, makes Pierce a smart mid-round pick. He has fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery.