At first it seems the easy answer to the story title's question would be the incumbent, Tyrod Taylor. The question of who will end up being the backup to Baltimore Ravens starting QB Joe Flacco could very well end up being a mute point for the fifth straight season.
Since becoming the Ravens starter virtually by default in his 2008 rookie season, Flacco has started every game, totaling 64 regular season games,....and counting. Flacco's potential substitute has ranged from Kyle Boller to Troy Smith to John Beck to Marc Bulger to Tyrod Taylor.
The one thing they all have in common is that none of them have ever been called on to start a real game in a Ravens uniform since Flacco first took the field. The list of backups around the league who have been forced into starting roles for various reasons is too numerous and would require significant research to post. The point is that while other teams have had to adjust to different QB styles over the years, the Ravens QB is fast becoming the next athlete in Baltimore to be know as the "Iron Man," after the Baltimore Orioles' Hall of Fame SS/3B, Cal Ripken.
A story on Bettor.com, a website that provides NFL lines, NFL picks and predictions on upcoming games, details Tyrod Taylor's view of his competition, led by former Indianapolis Colts QB, Curtis Painter. Painter started eight games for the Colts last season and has a close relationship with new Ravens QB coach and former Colts head coach, Jim Caldwell.
However, Taylor knows the Ravens playbook better than Painter and while Curtis has a lot more NFL game experience than Tyrod, he wasn't exactly successful in his opportunities. Hopefully, the past trend will continue and the ultimate winner in the competition to back up the guy who might just be the most durable NFL QB could end up being just the chance to wear a baseball cap and carry a clipboard on the sidelines as Joe leads the Ravens to another playoff berth again in 2012.