Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ravens let QB of Future Slip Away?

Many have questioned and continue to question whether or not Kyle Boller can be a consistently successful quarterback in the NFL. However no one questions the five year veteran’s toughness.

On Sunday Boller shrugged off an obviously painful knee injury that even forced the convalescing Steve McNair to loosen up on the sidelines. Boller toughed out the injury and took a beating for the team. Leonard Little sped by the lookout blocks of Jared Gaither and Marshall Yanda and tossed Boller around like a rag doll. Imagine for a second if Boller didn’t shrug off his injury and that was Steve McNair back their playing rope-a-dope with Little. Can you say Troy Smith?

Another injured Raven who tried to give it a go against St. Louis and couldn’t hang in with Boller was Todd Heap. Given the sad state of the Rams, one has to question Brian Billick’s decision to allow Heap to test out his sore hamstring. Perhaps it would have been a wiser move to rest Heap against the Rams and maybe even against the Bills this coming weekend if the pesky bite of that hamstring lingered. Now it appears that Heap will more than likely rest against the Bills as the Ravens look ahead to a Monday Night showdown with the Steelers on November 5.

Former Ravens making noise…One week ago Vinny Testaverde sat in his living room and watched SportsCenter highlights around the NFL. On Sunday Testaverde’s performance was among the highlights as he guided the Carolina Panthers to a 25-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. The former Raven was 20 of 33 for 206 yards including a 65 yard scoring strike to Steve Smith. Not a bad outing for someone going into the game absolutely cold. By comparison, Testaverde’s long distance dial up with Smith is just 2 yards short of the combined long completions on the season for Steve McNair (30) and Kyle Boller (37). McNair and Boller have 238 combined passing attempts…I wonder if the RB starved Tampa Bay Bucs are second guessing their decision to take a pass on Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ rookie is averaging 6.3 yards per carry and has been held under 100 yards just once. Peterson has 607 rushing yards on the season and has another 175 by air to go with his 5 TD’s. He is the Vikings offense and somewhere out in Minnesota, Chester Taylor is sulking in between applications of a raw Porterhouse Steak on his black eye courtesy of Erasmus James.

Back in ’05 when the Ravens tried to sneak Derek Anderson on to the practice squad only to be claimed by the Cleveland Browns, I was of the opinion that Anderson was a long-term project that needed more attention than the Ravens had time for. I watched him at practice, repeatedly tripping over his size 17 feet and failing over and over against the Ravens second team defense. The loss in my opinion was negligible.

It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time…I was wrong. To this day I still wait for Anderson to revert back to those clumsy practice habits and validate my opinion but time and again, he proves me wrong. He has grown. He has learned and he has obviously embraced coaching from some other offensive guru. Anderson shows poise in the pocket and surveys the field in a manner that we are hardly accustomed to here in The Land of Pleasant Living. And the proof is there in the numbers.

On the season, Anderson has tossed 14 touchdowns to go with 8 INT’s, 1,496 yards and a QB Rating of 88.9. Comparatively speaking Kyle Boller has never thrown for 14 TDs even when he played in all 16 games back in 2004.

The Ravens opened as three point favorites against the Bills in Buffalo this coming Sunday. Some seem surprised by the number and see it as low. Don’t count me among them. The last time that Kyle Boller won a road game as the Ravens’ starter was on November 14, 2004 against the Jets. Even then had it not been for Herm Edwards typically inept clock management, the Ravens would have lost that game. Instead they survived and won by three, 20-17.

I look for Boller’s struggles to continue on the road particularly behind a young line that didn’t communicate at home very effectively. On the road line calls will be more difficult as will QB audibles and while I hope I’m wrong, I can envision DE Aaron Schobel creating havoc for the Ravens much like Leonard Little did last Sunday. The Bills will feed off the crowd energy and angst directed towards Willis McGahee and I see the Ravens losing a snoozer, 13-9. And that will make for a long two weeks as we await another Monday night roadie in Pittsburgh.


Anonymous said...

Did the Ravens let our QB of the future slip away? Maybe. But what else is new. Frankly, whether it's the Ravens inability to spot/draft/develop offensive talent, or their inability to field a competitive offense -- what difference does it make? We've all been talking about the same damn problems for way too long now. And there does not appear to be any end to this insanity on the horizon. So really -- what difference does it make? We can continue to talk about it until we're blue and/or purple in the face -- nothing is going to change until changes are made at the top on down. Looking at it any other way is an empty pipe dream. Or a crack pipe dream, depending upon one's perspective/preferences.

ravcol said...

Anyone who thinks that Anderson would have 14 TD's after 6 games with the Ravens is giving the Genius way too much credit.

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 oct 20th
I would like to see what would/could have happened had they had the SMARTs to keep Derek Anderson.
I'm not even Sure if the GENUIS would have played him over BOLLER. Also, I can't ever see Troy Smith behind center, not in this mellinnium!
I think that TONY's Score prediction of 13-9 is being Pessimistic, but I can understand his reasoning.
But...and here is the big But... it doesn't have to be this way.Billick needs to STOP coaching Scared. Sure, if you let Kyle throw it down the Field, some INTs will ocurr. But, no Risk no gain. I feel, with the NFL Rules so OFFENSIVE ORIENTED; that its worth it to take chances. Look at the Call we got last week in the Ram Game when the DB fouled Mark Clayton...didn't that Lead to a TD? Also, if Kyle put a bit more distance on that Toss...Clayton would have caught the ball and Waltzed into the Endzone for a TD..
if if if .... I'm still routing hard, because I bleed purple.
I think we will defeat Buffalo on Sunday.
Harry O 29
Sykesville, Md