Ravens passing game ‘deep’ in transition from last year

Drop back. Throw long. Repeat.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was flinging the ball far downfield Thursday during a voluntary offseason training practice, targeting an array of receivers that includes newcomers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead.

Someone kind of joked that we completed more deep balls in practice today when we did the whole offseason last year, coach John Harbaugh said.

Joe’s known for throwing the deep ball, and I think we’ll hit a lot of those, Brown said.

Last year, when I was out there, I proved myself and going forward I plan to prove myself again, Bostic said. I got a lot of unfinished business.

So do the Steelers, who were gashed for 164 yards rushing and 45 points in a stunning playoff loss to Jacksonville. Though Pittsburgh led the league and set a franchise record with 57 sacks, the defense struggled at times following Shazier’s injury against Cincinnati on Dec. 4.

Throw out a Christmas Day game against Houston — which played without quarterback DeShaun Watson — and the Steelers allowed 33.5 points and 381 yards after Shazier’s exit. They’ll have a full offseason to get ready for life without him. The plan includes potentially flipping from a 3-4 to a 4-3 look in certain situations and getting creative with substitutions.

That’s where Edmunds comes into play. Though technically a safety, he served as a de facto linebacker late in his time at Virginia Tech when the Hokies played with five or more defensive backs. There’s also Matakevich, a special teams ace who will finished 2017 on injured reserve due with a shoulder issue.