Tuesday, February 05, 2008

QB or not QB? That is the question for the Baltimore Ravens

Atop Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron’s list of concerns has to be the position of quarterback, a perpetually problematic issue for the Ravens. Rumors swirled during the Super Bowl that Donovan McNabb could be heading south down I-95 and end up as a Raven given John Harbaugh’s and now Wilbert Montgomery’s ties to Philadelphia. If that move is on your Ravens’ wish list, don’t hold your breath on it coming to fruition.

Eagles’ insiders suggest that the team is looking for McNabb to lead the team in ’08 and that they are confident that the former Pro Bowl quarterback will be fully recovered from the knee surgery that ended his 2006 season prematurely. Plus the costs to obtain McNabb would be prohibitive. Some have said that the Ravens at the very least would have to sacrifice their No. 1 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and then some. Mix in the cap implications for a team that has the second worst cap situation in the league according to SI’s Peter King and it makes such a move even more unrealistic.

And that’s a good thing. Haven’t the Ravens already been down that road before with Steve McNair – an injury-prone quarterback nearing the twilight of his career? Granted, McNabb seemingly has more in the tank than the running-on-empty McNair but McNair’s costs weren’t as prohibitive as those expected of a McNabb acquisition.

Many are wondering if McNair is done. Most believe that he is. Cam Cameron isn’t too quick to agree.

“I know there were a lot of predictions going around the last couple of years in Green Bay, and then we all saw what happened. So, I think you just see where guys are, get a consensus, and I’m sure all those things will come to light over the next weeks and months.”

So Cameron will take a wait and see approach and who can blame him? McNair has been in Owings Mills rehabbing and training. Chances are a proud veteran like McNair who was a borderline Hall of Fame candidate prior to the ’07 season, would not want to be remembered for the way his career seemingly flamed out last year.

That said the normally close to the vest Brian Billick left us all believing that McNair may have played his last down as a Raven and that was before Billick was handed the pink slip. McNair will probably give it a go but at this point both Kyle Boller and Troy Smith seem like better options. Elvis Grbac might be a better option.

Hey, is Trent Dilfer still under contract with the 49ers?

Back to Boller for a moment, could he finally blossom under the tutelage of a new coordinator and a new QB coach that isn’t on a tight leash controlled by Brian Billick? The Ravens hope so but if they want to win consistently in ’08, they should look in another direction. Boller hasn’t started and won a road game since November of ’04 and he’s had plenty of opportunities. Sure, he was thrown to the wolves as a rookie but that was a long time ago. At some point during the course of five years you would expect him to be more consistent and throwing someone to the wolves all those years ago is no excuse for inconsistency today.

The Ravens could turn to another veteran somewhere out there over the rainbow or they could look to No. 10 on their roster, Troy Smith. Smith didn’t prove that he was the Ravens’ quarterback of the future but he also didn’t prove that he was not. Cam Cameron has had experience dealing with undersized quarterbacks in the past (Drew Brees) and he’s done a fine job. As it stands today, Smith is a better option than projected 2008 first round QB’s like Brian Brohm and Andre Woodson.

One quarterback who apparently has captured the Ravens attention is Matt Ryan. Some Ravens’ scouts believe that Ryan has what it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens put the card in for Ryan if he’s still on the board at No. 8.

That said the better option for the Ravens would be to wait until Round 2 or Round 3 to take a shot at a rookie signal caller. The Giants are proof that an impact defensive line can make a huge difference even against an All-World quarterback. Besides, the difference between the top 3 or 4 quarterbacks in the draft and the rest of the top 10 draft eligible quarterbacks is not very compelling.

Should the Ravens make a play on day 1 of the draft for a quarterback, which QB on the current roster will be the one to go?

Might they cut McNair?

Might they trade Boller? His one year contract is fairly reasonable.

Gee, it’s a shame Brian Billick isn’t coaching elsewhere. Talk about a trade partner made in heaven.

Let the offseason games begin…


Mike in Grasonville said...

I'm not sure which direction Cam Cameron will go, but I'm sure he will look at the present quarterback contingent on the roster and make his decisions based on what he likes, or dislikes. And if none of the current candidates fit into his scheme then Ozzie will be asked to draft a quarterback for the future.

This team is going to take some time to come together. It may not happen this coming season, but I'm sure it won't be very long before we start seeing the results of a new energetic coaching staff. The future looks bright, or better than it did a year ago this time.

thundrbandit13 said...

This team is going to take some time to come together. It may not happen this coming season, but I'm sure it won't be very long before we start seeing the results of a new energetic coaching staff. The future looks bright, or better than it did a year ago this time.

The future looks brighter than it did a year ago? A year ago this team was picked to win the division at the very least by everyone. No one saw this past season coming.

I do not know which way the Ravens will go in regards to the QB situation but I for one am wary of any move involving Donovan McNabb. He is not as mobile as he once was, I see Donovan McNabb and I see another Steve McNair. Many injuries have taken their toll. I question his arm strength not just for the "long Ball" but to have any real zip on short precise passes. I would prefer to see the Ravens admit they have gotten old and take the time to build again rather than a knee jerk reaction of having to win now. I hope Steve Bisciotti has the patience to allow a solid rebuilding of the team to happen. Veterans who want to stay and help are welcome those who are not willing to help the "TEAM"------> DOOR