Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Beck may be a better long-term choice than Smith as No. 2 QB

The Ravens have signed quarterback John Beck, the Miami Dolphins second round selection (overall no. 40) in 2007. Prior to the 2007 draft the Ravens invited Beck in for a visit. Mix that in with Cam Cameron’s familiarity with Beck and his understanding of the Cameron offensive system and clearly the move makes sense for the Ravens.

Beck is said to be a heady, poised player with a team first attitude. He is accurate in short to intermediate spaces and possesses a quick release. The knock against Beck is that his delivery can often drop down to three-quarters and he doesn’t have prototypical NFL arm strength (although the video below might suggest otherwise). Beck will be 28 when the team takes the field on Opening Day.

So what does the Beck signing mean for Troy Smith? Smith isn’t generally viewed as a John Harbaugh kind of guy. His ego belies his productivity and Smith envisions himself as an NFL starter. After the 2009 season Smith will become a restricted free agent and he might want to move on to a team where he’ll have a chance to start. Beck on the surface seems more willing to accept a No. 2 role and given his reputation for preparedness and film study he could be better suited for a long-term backup role than Smith.


The Truth said...

Hadn't thought of it that way. Good point. The back up needs to be capable of subbing and a student in order to provide another set of capable eyes to the starter. I'm not sure that Smith has that team first attitude.

NestMinder said...

Tony, What about the Wildcat though? Troy runs it great and its pretty safe to say Beck wouldn't be as effective with it. If Beck is made the backup, with Smith as #3, that would pretty much take the "Suggs Package" out of the playbook. I agree that Beck is probably a better long-term solution, but how will it stifle Cam's creativity. Love to hear your thoughts.

Tony Lombardi said...


I think it's possible that Beck could be the No. 2 QB and they can still utilize Smith's skills in Cameron's version of the Wildcat. Think of him as more of a situational player than a prototypical back-up.

Under that scenario, Smith will see more action than Beck provided the Ravens keep Flacco healthy. Smith can practice the plays Cameron installs in that week's game plan while Beck prepares as the back-up.

That said, the best player in camp should be the No. 2 and while I suggest that Beck could be a better long term answer for the job, that doesn't mean he's the best answer while Smith is here.

Also, Beck only has a one year deal with the Ravens. Smith is a RFA after the 2009 season. It's possible that neither is with the club in 2010 but unlikely.