Could be a long year in Baltimore.

12 08 2008

By Mike Gill 

Boller, Smith and Flacco battle for the Ravens QB job.

Boller, Smith and Flacco battle for the Ravens QB job.

The Ravens think they finally may have found their quarterback of the future – Joe Flacco.  Unfortunately for the Ravens the future might be all they have to think about right now. 

New head coach John Harbaugh certainly has his hands full and has worked hard at changing the culture in Baltimore.  “It has been a real tough camp,” said Ken Murry who covers the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun.  “This has been a much more physical camp under Harbaugh.”

The man he replaced, Brian Billick was know as an offensive mind, but his Ravens teams were putrid offensively under his leadership.  The Ravens have never been able to get consistent play from the quarterback position and this season should be no different.  It’s a big question mark (the QB position), Flacco will not be the starter though, he is having trouble getting up to speed,” Murray said.  That means former first-round pick Kyle Boller and former Ohio State star Troy Smith will compete for the job.  “Smith and Boller are in a battle right now, Smith is the fan favorite but they are playing so similar right now,” said Murray. 

Even if the Ravens were completely healthy on offense they would struggle to score, but their top two tackles are hurt entering the season, and running back Willis McGahee had to go under the knife right before camp started and has been a bit of a disappointment since coming over from Buffalo.  “People were excited when he came here two years ago,” stated Murray.  “But he isn’t as dedicated anymore and is no longer a fan favorite here.”  Rookie Ray Rice from Rutgers could take-away some of McGahee’s carries according to Murray.  “He could be a major force and has been handling most of the reps in practice.”

Finding a play-maker on offense will be a priority, the closest thing they have to one right now is tight end Todd Heap.   Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason are the wide outs, neither is a guy that will stretch the field or scare you with their speed..

If the Ravens have any shot to make the playoffs, the play of the defense will get them there.  “They are obviously the strength of the team,” said Murray.  Led by linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed, this might be the last chance to get the Ravens into the playoffs with this group of core guys.  “There isn’t any indication that they have lost anything,” Murry said.  “They just aren’t as quick as they were.”

Going into the season, the Ravens don’t have a lot of high expectations and according to Murray a playoff berth seems a bit far-fetched.  “I don’t think there is anyway they make the playoffs, they have a real tough schedule.’

Tough schedule or not, this team is offensively challenged, Flacco is the future, but the future is not now.

Next up : Detroit Lions

This is a series called “2-A-Days” that will preview two teams per day every day this month, where Mike Gill will interview a beat writer or radio personality who covers the team on “The Mike Gill Show” on ESPN Radio 1450 , weekdays from 3-6pm

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2 responses

15 08 2008
Michael DeLuca

I’ve got an idea…let’s go out and get a special teams coach from a team with a crappy special teams and we’ll make him our head coach! Has any other team that’s never won a Super Bowl produced as many head coaches as the Eagles?

15 08 2008
Michael Gill

Harbaugh actually wasnt the Special teams coach last season. He asked to be moved to DB coach so he was a more attractive HC candidate. When Harbaugh was ST coach, the Eagles ad some decent units. Last season it was aggorant Andy that decided that a PR wasnt a need.

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