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Eric Weddle: Offseason moves 'lit a fire' in Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco understands the selection of Lamar Jackson "means something" even if Flacco is entrenched as the starter.

Flacco has taken the team's offseason additions of Jackson and Robert Griffin III in stride publicly, at least.

Behind the scenes, however, could be another matter.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle told reporters Wednesday that Flacco has enjoyed an "outstanding offseason" with crisp, deep throws before providing perspective as a fellow veteran.

"He's obviously been challenged," Weddle said, via the Ravens' official website. "We all are. As older players, every year is a prove-it year, and if you don't believe that, you're fooling yourself. I have to prove that I can still start in this league, that I can compete, that I should be a starter, that I should be on this team. If you don't, then you're going to be out of here.

"Now so with drafting Lamar and bringing Griffin in, it's lit a fire under him. You can tell and he's shown. He's worked extremely hard."

Entering his 11th season, Flacco appears to have extra incentive to prove he is still the top quarterback in Baltimore a season after throwing for 3,141 yards and posting an 80.4 rating, both representing the third-lowest totals in a single season in his career.

With Flacco at the helm, the Ravens' offense sputtered in 2017, ranking 27th in the league in total offense.

But the team focused on getting Flacco some weapons during the offseason, and upgraded the receiving corps with the additions of Michael Crabtree, John Brown, Willie Snead and tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews, among others.

With a new supporting cast, Flacco is applying veteran leadership and plans to bring the players together during the break before training camp.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," Flacco said, via the Ravens' official website. "I mean, these guys, the good thing with these guys is they come up to you and say, 'Hey, Flac. You text me, we're out there.' So, we'll be getting together and it'll be good for us."

In the meantime, the Ravens might view Jackson as the future.

But stepping up and using free time during the summer to develop chemistry with a new group of receivers shows the Ravens remain Flacco's team.

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