|Ravens QB Joe Flacco admits his team needs to be more patient. (US Presswire)|
Against Pittsburgh this past Sunday, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco thought he had Torrey Smith downfield for a touchdown. He dropped back and lofted a pass in single coverage to Smith down the left sideline by the goal line.
Smith just missed the pass and the ball fell incomplete. Flacco was noticeably upset, showing what seemed to be frustration on his face that television cameras caught. Flacco threw five deep passes intended for Smith, all of which missed the mark during Baltimore's 23-20 loss to Pittsburgh.
Flacco admits the offense needs better consistency. But when asked, he said he's not necessarily frustrated, just that he thinks the offense as a whole needs to exert more patience.
“The patience sometimes has been (tested),” Flacco said. “When we go in and we're playing a good defense and they're playing well, we're playing well, and we're having a little battle, we've got to stay patient to not try to do so much. And I think we've done a good job of that for the most part, but you always have to fight up against a little bit of that.”
Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron doesn't see Flacco as frustrated, though his body language would sometimes indicate otherwise. After all, it can be easy to assume what someone is feeling based on perceived body language.
“Maybe frustration is the word, I don't know,” Cameron said. “It's interesting for those of us that are around him to sit back and see sometimes the perception of him. But when you are around him, you know the other part of Joe. You know the fire that burns inside.”
Cameron added any kind of frustration that Flacco is possibly feeling stems from his competitive nature. The Ravens offense ranks 19th in the NFL at 343.2 yards per game.
“There is no chance that Joe is going to try to be somebody he isn't because everybody would see right through that,” Cameron said. “Everybody has tremendous respect for him. There's a lot of strength in that man, there's no doubt in my mind.”
Good problem: Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will have two personnel decisions to make in the coming weeks -- who starts at inside linebacker and cornerback?
At one inside linebacker spot, Ray Lewis will start once he's able to play, which is expected to happen in Week 15 against Denver. For the other spot, it will come down to Dannell Ellerbe (if healthy) and Jameel McClain.
At cornerback, it could be trickier. Jimmy Smith, a 2011 first-round pick, assumed a starting role in the base defense after Lardarius Webb tore his ACL in Week 6. But with Smith being out the past four weeks after sports hernia surgery, Corey Graham has stepped in and performed admirably, picking off two passes and knocking six others away.
Smith has practiced the past two days and could be in line to see some game action soon. Whether it's this Sunday against Washington or next week against Denver remains uncertain.
But does Graham keep the starting position in which he's fared well? According to Pees, and without tipping his cap, it won't be that difficult of a decision
“It will be based on how they practice,” Pees said. “You can't have enough good players. I hope the worst problem I ever have is trying to figure out who is the best player out of two good players to play. That's always a good problem to have and I hope I continue to have it.”
Injury report: ILB Ellerbe (ankle) and TE Ed Dickson (knee) were the only two players that did not participate in Thursday's practice. Limited: CB Smith (sports hernia) OLB Terrell Suggs (biceps), S Ed Reed (shoulder), WR Jacoby Jones (ankle) and CB Asa Jackson (shoulder). Full participation: S Bernard Pollard (chest), DE Pernell McPhee (thigh), FB Vonta Leach (ankle), CB Chris Johnson (thigh), S James Ihedigbo (calf), LB Josh Bynes (thigh), CB Chykie Brown (ankle).
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.