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Ravens taking offense in stride offense in stride

August 24, 2010

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Though Baltimore's offense is not in sync and quarterback Joe Flacco has not been sharp, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is not concerned.

"It's always a work in progress, and it will be throughout the season," Harbaugh said on Monday. "I think we're real happy with where we're at, but there are 100 things we need to work on and those are the things we're trying to get better at."

Harbaugh and company have a lot of work ahead of them.

Baltimore's longest play of the preseason has been a fake punt by backup safety Haruki Nakamura, a 51-yard run that set up a touchdown.

The Ravens fumbled three times during Saturday's 23-3 preseason win over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice put the ball on the ground twice and wide receiver Donte' Stallworth fumbled once.

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Flacco completed just 9 of 16 passes for 72 yards and a below-average 67.7 passer rating.

"I was happy that our punt team set us up and that we were able to score a touchdown," Flacco said. "But the offense needs to be more consistent and we need to be the ones putting us in scoring position. ... We can't fumble the ball that many times. We need to eliminate those turnovers and take better care of the ball."

The second-team offense fared much better as backup Marc Bulger completed 13 of 16 passes for 130 yards and a 105.1 passer rating.

Flacco's top play was a 21-yard completion to three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Despite acquiring Boldin and Stallworth this offseason, the starting offense has sputtered.

Is that a cause for concern or are the Ravens simply keeping their best plays under wraps for the regular season? The latter seems to be a more likely scenario.

"We're going to stick to our process, and this preseason game you're going to see more of them," Harbaugh said when asked if Flacco, Boldin and Stallworth will play more Aug. 28 against the New York Giants. "I think we're right on schedule, but we're not where we want to be."

The Ravens converted only 1 of 10 third downs against the Redskins.

"We just need to move the ball a little better and convert those third downs," Flacco said. "We have to keep the chains moving, and we can't make those mistakes." Added offensive coordinator Cam Cameron: "Our ball security has to be better." Midway through the preseason, the Ravens have three rushing touchdowns and one touchdown pass.

"I think we are on schedule," wide receive Derrick Mason said. "Obviously, there are some things we need to get better at."

Rice rushed for 17 yards on three carries against the Redskins. The Ravens used him sparingly as a precautionary measure.

"It felt really good," Rice said. "I like to get hit. Getting hit is one of the things that gets me going. I haven't been hit all preseason, so it felt good to actually get tackled."

NOTE: The Ravens activated cornerback Lardarius Webb from the physically unable to perform list. He practiced Monday, participating in individual drills. Webb tore his anterior cruciate ligament Dec. 20 against the Chicago Bears. "It was fun," Webb said. "Glad to be out there with my teammates. They welcomed me back fine and dandy. It was great."

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