Wake-up caw: No more 'vanilla' offense

By the time the Wake-up caw pops up on the site, it will be about 36 hours until the Baltimore Ravens kick off their title defense in Denver. In the meantime, let's take a look at some headlines on the Ravens beat ...

  • The Ravens expect to open up the offense, which running back Ray Rice described as "very vanilla" in the preseason. “I’m not going to say a lot different, but you’re going to see some things different than what we’ve done previously probably here or there,” offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said, via the team's website. “We’re not giving away any trade secrets, but there could be a wrinkle here and there.” Even though the Ravens offense was bland in the preseason, they still have to figure out a way to improve their run blocking. Remember the Ravens ran the ball more than they threw it in the double overtime AFC divisional playoff game in Denver.

  • All signs point to tight end Ed Dickson (hamstring) playing Thursday night in Denver. “I’m not 100 percent sure, but I feel 100 percent,” Dickson told Comcast SportsNet after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m being smart with it. I’m going with the coaches, I’m going with the trainers, I’m going day-to-day.”

  • Wide receiver Torrey Smith told The Baltimore Sun he's preparing as if Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey is playing. Bailey hasn't practiced this week because of a foot injury. I'm thinking Smith wants Bailey to play after how he burned the 12-time Pro Bowl cornerback in the last meeting. Smith scored on touchdown catches of 59 and 32 yards against Bailey.

  • Owner Steve Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun that he wasn't concerned that Ozzie Newsome would step down as general manager after winning the Super Bowl. "And if I had that fear, I would've been more reluctant to back this purge of these veterans," Bisciotti said. The Ravens won't be caught off-guard when Newsome decides to retire. The Ravens will turn to their general manager-in-waiting Eric DeCosta.

  • The Ravens will help spread the word about Obamacare enrollment in Maryland, the website Politico reports.