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The Future Is Now?

With quarterback Steve McNair sidelined for at least 2-3 weeks, Kyle Boller gets the starting nod in the meantime. Does this mean that McNair will be returning under center at that time? Three weeks from now would be the Patriots and then the Colts. Am I to assume that he will make his return on national TV against two of the top teams in the league? Are you kidding me!? If Kyle Boller is performing at least as good as McNair did (or didn't), then he should probably continue as the starter. However, if he gets injured, or is just plain horrible, then perhaps we'll get the chance to see what rookie Troy Smith (Ohio State) can do. While I realize that Smith is certainly not ready to take over the reins, it would be interesting to see what skills he could bring to this troubling franchise's future. It would also help to determine in what direction this team will need to go in the offseason.

Be it free agency or the NFL Draft, this team will have many holes to fill. The Ravens are an aging team, despite having a good young crop of players, mostly on offense. However, the defense is getting older at key positions and desperately needs some additional depth, as noted in the past two games.

There are not too many NFL teams that will be looking for a starting QB in next spring's draft. However, there are probably quite a few looking for capable backups and this draft will have a decent group of future QB's available. Boston College's Matt Ryan, while having a couple of tough games recently, seems to have the requisite skills to be a future star in the league. At the same time, the Ravens seem to need a top-notch shutdown cornerback to complement Chris McAlister, an aging, ill Samari Rolle and their ineffective backups. In addition, every successful team now seems to have a great one-two punch in the backfield. The Ravens have the "one" in Willis McGahee, but still is looking for that "two" to spell him at times.

Either way, the future of this franchise begins now, whether the reason is due to ineffectiveness, or the "phantom" injury to Steve McNair that we never heard about until now. It's a nicer, more sensitive way to save the aging warrior from the additional humiliation of suffering any more embarrassment from his obvious lack of ability at this point in what has been a very good career.