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Joe Flacco wants pressure to score more points.
He might have to this year, especially after the Achilles tendon injury to reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs. With Suggs down for an unknown amount of time, pressure may fall on Flacco and the offense to offset the hit to the defense.
The Ravens fifth-year quarterback doesn’t have a problem with that.
“I want us to get in more of a mindset where we have to score points,” Flacco said Thursday after an offseason workout. “Should this be something that makes us do that? No. We shouldn’t feel any more pressure because we don’t have him. We still have a great defense and we still have a great team.
“But having said that, if it does put more pressure on us, if we do feel like we have more pressure on us and we need to score more, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
Just how good could they be?
The Ravens offense ranked 12th in scoring (23.6 points per game) last year, and Flacco could see a jump in that category this season.
“I think we’ve got the talent around us, definitely,” he said. “I think we need to go out there and we need to make our minds up that we’re going to do that.
“I think we’re a team that should be able to go out there and put 40 up and not really look back.”
The Ravens never scored more than 35 points last season, but they also went up against stiff competition.
The Ravens faced eight the of NFL’s top 10 defenses – the only two they didn’t face were the Eagles and their own – and 11 of their 16 games came against teams with top 10 defenses.
Another one of the challenges last season was that the offense had several new pieces, specifically in the passing game.
Wide receivers Torrey Smith and Lee Evans and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta were all either new to the Ravens or in their first year as starters. Anquan Boldin was the only returning starter at receiver or tight end going into last year.
“We were young last year,” Flacco said. “To have the success we had, I think we did a pretty good job with that. Obviously I think we wanted to get a little further, but now some of those guys that were new last year, they’re going to be familiar faces around here.”
There has been much less turnover this offseason, as the release of Evans and signing of free-agent Jacoby Jones were the only major changes in the receiving corps. The group also has the benefit of an offseason program to build a continued rapport with Flacco.
With most of the group back this season, Flacco has high hopes for what they can accomplish.
“Now we’re not going to have to slow down so much and worry about whether we understand it all,” he said. “We’re going to be able to go out there, run full speed and really not think about leaving anything behind.”