Now that Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has named Troy Smith the starting QB for the third exhibition game this Saturday at the St. Louis Rams, it's time to settle this QB Derby. The debate of whether Smith or Kyle Boller should be under center on opening day, September 7th at home against the Cincinnati Bengals should now end for the good of the team.
Everyone, including the new coaching staff, knows exactly what Boller brings to the team. He will be positively awesome one play, and then postively awful the next. The words, "consistency" and "Boller" have rarely been used in the same sentence over his career. He will be a capable backup, whether it be in Baltimore or another NFL city. However, he had had the chance and has proven he is just not a starting NFL-caliber QB. However, the possibility remains that Troy Smith just might be. The second year pro and Heisman Trophy winner from THE Ohio State University has known and faced down pressure all through his college career. Playing in the Big Ten and especially on the road at the Big House at Michigan, in front of over 100,000 maniacs, will make you battle-tested, and Smith has not only experienced it, he has succeeded as well.
In addition, Smith has the attitude, almost cocky at times, that is needed to gain the respect and confidence of his teammates. Almost to a man, the offense seems to prefer Smith leading this offense over Boller, who has frustrated his teammates as well as the fans over the years. At least Smith gives the Ravens a fighting chance, with his legs as well as his arm. While his passing this preseason has not been very good, Boller's has been just as poor. Giving Smith the reps with the first team and the playing time to practice and improve, will give the coaching staff a much better idea of how long we as fans will have to continue to wait until rookie Joe Flacco takes over as the future of the franchise.
Therefore, since I'm sure Ravens coach John Harbaugh reads this column and listens to my impassioned pleas, make the decision NOW! Name Troy Smith the starter for the season and place him under center for the majority of the next two preseason games. Give him ALL the reps with the first team in practice and commit to him for the first part of the season at a minimum, baring injury, that he will be your starter. This will put the Ravens in the best position to prepare for the season and succeed, beginning with an opening day victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Thank you, thank you very much!