NOTE: This story was orignally posted last May 2008. It shows what a difference a year makes. Can you imagine what you would have thought if I had said that I thought Flacco would start the season at QB and we'd make it all the way to the AFC Championship Game!? You'd have had me commited to a mental asylum. Now we all go to see Flacco take us to the Super Bowl in that asylum called M&T Bank Stadium.
So for all you mother's out there, Happy Mother's Day. This post is to allow me to spend time with the wife, rather than typing away any longer on this keyboard. Enjoy!
It appears that coach John Harbaugh will just let the three QB's fight it out during training camp and the last man standing will be the starter on Opening Day 2008. Kyle Boller, Troy Smith and Joe Flacco all have good reasons why they should be lined up under center on September 7th, when the Ravens open the 2008 season hosting the Cincinnati Bengals.
Boller's argument is that he's certainly the most experienced of the group. Smith's resume is pretty short but shows potential. Flacco, of course, is the newest member of the group and obviously the future face of this franchise. So what's a rookie head coach to do?
I realize that Flacco will probably be taking snaps with the first team before the season is over. But to start him on Day One might be like throwing him to the lions. Sure, Peyton Manning did the same and paid his dues, but we're talking about Peyton "friggin" Manning! Without someone like Jon Ogden protecting his blind side, Flacco could spend most of his rookie season flat on his back, suffering from whiplash and waking up at night ducking and flinching. Why subject him to this sort of punishment, when he can look pretty on the sidelines in his baseball cap, carrying a clipboard, watching Boller take the abuse and learn by just doing the opposite of whatever Kyle does? Of course, it seems that none of the national media, when discussing the Ravens' dilemma, ever seem to even mention Troy Smith as part of the equation. At the end of last season, Smith seemed to have the players confidence, and certainly the support of the local fans. He at the very least, deserves an honest and fair shot at the job.
If by some chance, Flacco spends most, if not all of the season on the sidelines, it's only because the other guy(s) are getting the job done and quite frankly, all anyone should want is this team to win, be it with Boller, Smith or Flacco. Every team needs three QB's, with one main starter, a respectable backup and the young, third stringer who is there in the event of a catastrophe. My feeling is that either Boller or Smith should win the starting job outright, with Flacco taking over as the backup. If Boller loses the job to Smith, then he should be released, as it would be the final statement that he is just not an NFL quarterback after five unproductive and disappointing years in the league. Smith is young, was only a fifth round draft pick and will not cost the Ravens much to keep him on, be it as the temporary starter or long term as the backup. Flacco will learn as much on the sidelines as he would running for his life, confused from the incredible skills and team speed that he has never experienced in Division 1-AA (or I'm sorry, I meant College Football Sub-Division!).
This looks like a plan to me. I've emailed the Ravens, requesting an interview with new coach John Harbaugh and although I realize how little respect us bloggers receive, I'm hoping that my resume as a fan and season ticket holder convince them to give me some face time with him, perhaps a few other players and at least a tour of the Castle. Keep tuned...