I was driving home from work this afternoon and heard the NFL Network announce that the Ravens were signing a veteran QB. However, the NFL Network said it was recently released Tampa Bay Buc Chris Simms, and ESPN just reported it was the former Falcon Joey Harrington. Which was it, guys? Apparently, since ESPN is reporting it as official, Harrington's the guy. With the injury to Kyle Boller and the uncertainly of Troy Smith's tonsils, they didn't want to wait to see if Practice Squad QB Casey Bramlet would be their backup to rookie Joe Flacco this Sunday.
It is looking more evident each passing day that the other two veteran QB's will just not be ready to play when the season opens this Sunday afternoon with the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. Flacco will most likely take the snaps with the first team, but due to his veteran status, Harrington should be almost up to speed by Sunday to take over in a pinch. I actually like Joey Harrington, despite the bum rap he gets, as any QB for the Lions must run for their lives and he certainly had no better team in front of him in Atlanta. With the Ravens o-line questionable, a player with decent legs will be a plus in our backfield, much less a veteran one.
Hopefully, Flacco will do good enough to put enough points on the board and let our defense take care of the rest. No big chances, limit the turnovers and manage the game conservatively, and Flacco should succeed. However, if he falls flat on his face, Joey Harrington will be there to bail him out if needed.
What does this all mean for Boller and Smith? For all we know, Boller is hurt enough to possibly have thrown his last pass as a Raven. Smith may return to a backup position, although it may be third string instead of first or second. At the same time, Flacco is a legitimate candidate to start and play his entire rookie season. However, it's good to know we will have a proven backup on the sideline ready to go if not.
Great move, Ravens!