Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ravens QB Competition: Preseason Game 1

The Ravens QB competition saw it's first preseason game action tonight, where the Ravens defeated the Patriots 16-15. All three quarterbacks, Kyle Boller, Troy Smith, and Joe Flacco saw time. So, after the first action, how's the race going?

Kyle Boller: B-
Boller is continuing to show why Ravens fans are frustrated with #7. At times, Boller seemed like a veteran, passing short and solid passes to the numbers and making good decisions. He finished 11/15 on passing. But two plays were important too, fumbling the ball when the pocket collapsed and throwing an interception into triple coverage. Boller looked decent, but it is hard to look beyond those two turnovers.

Troy Smith: C
Smith looks like an average sophomore year scrambling QB. Cameron clearly is trying to utilize his speed and get around the height disadvantage. While he didn't make too many bad decisions, his pass locations were off and sometimes can't find holes in the line to run through. But again, he wasn't costing the Ravens the ball.
(Update: Coach Harbaugh announced after the game that Troy Smith will start the next preseason game vs. the Vikings.)

Joe Flacco: D-
Flacco is a rookie, and his transition from 1-AA to the NFL wasn't going to be easy. The grade is just measuring performance; no one expected him to be great out of the gate. But he got his reality check tonight, he couldn't lead the receivers and panicked when the pocket collapsed. More experience down the road will help him, but for now, he isn't looking like this year's starting quarterback for the Ravens.

So for now, I have Boller in the lead for the starting role. But there is still plenty of time left for things to change. No one is out of the running.

(Photo credits: ESPN (Boller), Ohio State University (Smith), University of Delaware (Flacco)

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