I guess the better headline might have been, "Last Man Standing." Rookie Joe Flacco has pretty much wrapped up the starting QB position by default over the sore shouldered Kyle Boller and the sore throated Troy Smith. If the rumors about Boller's shoulder are as worse as feared, then he could be out anywhere from a few weeks to the entire season. If the rumors about Smith's tonsils are true, then he too may be out as much as 4-6 weeks. That leaves the rookie, who started this QB Derby as an afterthought only two short weeks ago. The job was Smith's for the taking but he was just not able to even get onto the field to grab it. Now the Ravens have brought in former San Diego Charger third stringer Casey Bramlet, who is a known entity to Ravens and former Charger offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. After getting picked up off waivers from San Diego this week, Bramlet is set to be the backup and is only an injury away from becoming the next in line to be named the starting QB! Things are pretty weird in the Ravens Twilight Zone!
Once again, this screams for my repetitive rant for them to have signed Daunte Culpepper in the offseason and perhaps even now. Culpepper supposedly declined a one year, $1 million offer to be Aaron Rodgers' backup in Green Bay. However, here in Baltimore, he could easily end up being the starter and use the 2008 season as a 16 game audition for 2009 when Flacco will most certainly be the starter. Unfortunately, the Ravens will not be able to delay the inevitability of starting him next Sunday in the season opener at home against the Bengals. There's no way Boller will be available and how in the world can the Ravens just hand the ball to Troy Smith when he hasn't played in three weeks and didn't look too good when he did get on the field earlier in the preseason. Smith has great legs and a confident attitude, but he pulls the ball down too soon and seems to want to run more than pass. Flacco, on the other hand, has shown poise in the pocket and the presence to be patient and wait for his receivers to get open. The knock on him is that he tends to wait too long, but it's good to see at such an early point in his career that he's rather be safe than sorry. What I've seen is a pretty mature rookie who does not want to make mistakes and turnovers by throwing unnecessary interceptions and is willing to take a sack rather than throw the pick.
Ths issues with the rest of the team, including the injuries, other position battles and weaknesses on both sides of the ball pale in comparison to this ridiculous QB situation. One of two things will happen on September 7th. The Bengals might just make this season start out on a bad foot as they come into M&T Bank Stadium is as much disarray as the Ravens and we will be just what the doctor ordered for Cincinnati if they can take us apart and win a conference game on the road, putting the Ravens in a huge hole. On the other hand, if Flacco can lead this rag tag group of veterans and no names to a victory over a piss poor defense and beat up offense, then the confidence gained from an opening day victory could propel this young team to a big boost for the rest of the season.