Saturday, June 14, 2008

Introducing Ravens Quarterback Joe Smith

Earlier this week in my camp notes I mentioned that it would not surprise me to see the Ravens start Joe Flacco to open the regular season and complement his efforts with situational sub packages featuring Troy Smith. And you know the more I think about this idea, the more I like it.

No one wants to see Joe Flacco thrown to the wolves like Kyle Boller was in 2003. Most prefer to see him donning a sporty Ravens baseball cap and carrying a clipboard his rookie season, much like Carson Palmer did in 2003 while Jon Kitna was enjoying a career year.

Perhaps the success of the season will dictate Flacco’s playing time. If Kyle Boller or Troy Smith take turns of inadequacy guiding the Ravens offense and the season gets away from John Harbaugh and his gang, then Flacco will get his playing time late in the campaign as part of an effort to better prepare him for 2009.

But look at it this way. Joe Flacco is no Kyle Boller and I’m not talking about what he does with a football. I’m talking about his demeanor and mental make up. Flacco seems so much more prepared to handle the pressures and filter the distractions presented by NFL defenses than Kyle Boller was as a rookie and even Kyle Boller as a 6 year veteran today.

Having the confident Smith take 15-20 snaps per game in a manner similar to Kordell Stewart’s “Slash” days does a few things:

1. It keeps defenses off balance and it forces them to prepare for two vastly different styles of quarterback play;
2. It takes pressure off Joe Flacco;
3. It allows Flacco to take a seat, look at current in-game photos, process the looks defenses are presenting and then discuss it with his coaches as the action is taking place.

Certainly much needs to be and will be learned about Flacco during the months from July to September. But if he progresses and continues to look like the best of the three QB’s, this plan could be one that is comfortable for the rookie signal caller and perhaps more importantly one that gives the Ravens the best chance to win.

We already know what the Ravens have in Kyle Boller, right?

They didn’t spend a first round pick on Flacco if they think Troy Smith is the future, right?

Think about it…

2 comments :

Panama Joe said...

Tony, this is the Baltimore Ravens you are talking about. Could it be that the approach has changed that much? Billick would have laughed at such a suggestion but after thinking it through, I don't see it has funny at all. It is pretty intriguing.

Ray said...

TL I would think that using the 2 QBs we will have the best of both worlds. I would also add that once we do it and it works other teams will be sure to follow. The Ravens might just go on the record of starting a new trend and change the way we think about the game. The next problem will be then will all teams need 4 QB on the team to have 2 back ups? LOL who knows !

Go Ravens !!!