With free agency very quiet, the Draft over and the trade market being pretty much dead, the Ravens’ roster is starting to take shape, and we can start to see who will be where.
As we get closer to the summer where Training Camp and the like begins, we’ll take a look at each position, starting with QB and ending with the long snapper. We’ll assess the strengths, weaknesses and see how the Ravens stack up with the rest of the league at that specific position.
For the first installment of the series, we’ll take a look at what most experts consider the most important position on the field: the quarterback. As of now the Ravens have three QBs under contract, 25-year old starter Joe Flacco out of Delaware, 25-year old Troy Smith out of Ohio State, and 28-year old John Beck out of BYU.
Click “Continue Reading” to see the full first installment of position outlooks.
|Joe Flacco||6’6”||235 lbs.||315-499 (63.1%), 3613 yds, 21 TD, 12 INT, 88.9 QB Rating|
|Troy Smith||6’0”||225 lbs.||5-9, 24 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 21.3 QB Rating|
|John Beck||6’2”||215 lbs.||DNP during Reg. Season|
JOE FLACCO: As you can see from the depth chart, Unibrow Joe is the clear-cut starter. After a solid 2009 season where he started much faster than he finished, the Ravens have put a lot of time and resources in this offseason to prepare him for his third NFL season. From working with a pitching coach for increased stamina, modifying his diet, and bringing in several new offensive weapons, the team is hoping the Delaware product can bust out and have a huge 2010 season for them. Hopefully he will return to his early form of 2009, where he distributed the ball well among receivers, instead of the final 6 games, where over 60% of his passes went to Ray Rice out of the backfield. Although it worked out often, the connection to Rice started to lessen the threat of stretching the field vertically.
TROY SMITH: After Smith’s agent Ralph Cindrich insisted that he demanded a trade from the Ravens, the former Heisman Trophy winner has fired Cindrich and insists that his biggest priority is the Ravens. A guy who could be a starter on several NFL teams if given the chance, Smith’s role this season might be expanding if the Ravens decide to try out more Wildcat-based plays. After throwing an epic 43-yard bomb to Joe Flacco in 2008 out of the formation, Smith hasn’t seen much time in the 2 QB set. Currently trying to recover from tonsillitis, a good training camp and preseason would be a huge boost for Smith as he tries to show other NFL teams what he can do as a quarterback for the day when he actually does want to leave Baltimore.
JOHN BECK: While it wouldn’t be incredibly fair to call John Beck a “bust”, his career is certainly headed in that direction. Being the 40th overall pick in 2007, Beck only appeared in 5 games for the Dolphins that season, going 0-4 in games he started, and promptly being cut from the team when Bill Parcells became President. The Ravens picked him up, and since then he’s looked as good as any guy in the league with a headset and baseball cap on and a clipboard in his hand. If we want to find something good about Beck, he’s very talented for a third-string quarterback. He’s never been given a chance to show his ability, so you can’t believe that being a third-string QB in Baltimore is where he would like to be, but the Ravens and their fans are happy to have him around as a very good insurance plan.
Next up in the series are the running backs.