I was out at dinner when my phone alert texted me to let me know that supposedly Ravens starting QB Troy Smith would miss the exhibition game at St. Louis last night due to a stomach illness. Therefore, Joe Flacco would be playing the entire game in his place. The Ravens already know enough about Kyle Boller so he was given the night off. Originally Smith was targeted to go well into the third quarter, as head coach John Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron still haven't seen enough of Smith to make a fair evaluation of who will be this team's starter in game one of the regular season.
Unfortunately, whatever went into Smith's stomach may end up costing him much more than his lunch, or whatever else he lost in the bathroom Saturday night (ewww!). This was Troy's turn to show the coaches that over the course of an entire game, he had what it takes to label him the starter. Last week's starting nod didn't prove anything and it appears the coaching staff is just looking for anything that Smith can show them so they can just hand him the job. Too bad Smith has done absolutely nothing to earn it on his own. Like I said in an earlier post, the winner of this QB Derby will probably end up being the one who sucks the least. It will not bode well for the Ravens if this shuffle extends well into ther regular season.
If it looks like neither of the two "veterans" (Boller & Smith) have anything worthy of helping the team succeed in 2008, then it may come down to just giving rookie Joe Flacco the ball and having him learn on the go. This will not benefit Flacco, as a season of carrying the clipboard on the sideline in his baseball cap rather than under a helmet will prepare him for the physical play and incredible difference in speed of the NFL versus the Division II (uh, I mean College Football Subdivision!) game.
However, time is running out. I bet the Ravens are the only team in the NFL that going into its final preseason game still has no idea of whom who start the game once the hitting and scoring counts. As I said, it just might come down to either Boller or Smith by default and my senses tell me that Boller is more of a known entity and is currently better prepared to lead this team due to Smith's lack of playing time. Perhaps coach Harbaugh will give Smith one more try on Thursday night at home against the Falcons in the Ravens final preseason game to earn the starting position. Perhaps not. This week in practice will tell a lot.