Rookie quarterback Keith Wenning came into a perfect situation to secure a backup quarterback job in the NFL.
Even though current Ravens backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor had secured the job for the previous three seasons, head coach John Harbaugh publicly criticized his play during the offseason.
First, Harbaugh paid Taylor a compliment by saying, "We've been very happy with Tyrod, and we feel like he has a great future," but then he followed the compliment with some criticism saying, "we have been a little disappointed with how he's played in games certainly."
A sixth-round pick for Wenning isn't much of an investment from the standpoint of the Ravens, but they're also a franchise that is notorious for not releasing drafted players during the same season. However, the closer time comes for final cuts, the more I feel like Wenning will be apart of them.
During the training camp practices that I attended, nothing that Wenning did really stood out. In fact, I saw him make one of the worst throws I can remember hitting a linebacker straight in the numbers with a ball, which was intercepted, while there wasn't a receiver in the area. The play had me scratching my head to even ponder who the intended receiver could have been.
Regardless, they're rookie growing pains and they're expected; but, I do wonder if Wenning has experienced a few too many for the liking of the coaching staff.
Thus far, Wenning has only participated in one of the three Ravens preseason games. Against the Cowboys, Wenning had two completions on four attempts for 23 yards against players that will be bagging groceries in a few weeks. By comparison, Taylor has played the majority of the three preseason contests under center, totaling 25 completions on 38 attempts for 263 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Given the lopsidedness in their playing, I'd have to assume that the Ravens have already made up their mind on if they're going to carry three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. On Tuesday, Harbaugh gave his assessment when asked if it's a difficult decision to retain three quarterbacks.
"I don't think it's difficult," he said. "You just decide who your best 53 players are. If the third quarterback is in the top 53, he's on the team. If he's not, he's not. It's simple."
Judging by what has been shown in the preseason, the safe bet is that Taylor will once again win the job and Wenning will likely be released and potentially be signed to the practice squad if he goes unclaimed. Even if he's claimed by another team, he'll be a project. Also, if the Ravens would really like to retain his rights and not want to risk losing him elsewhere, Wenning could always be subject to the infamous "mystery injury" and be placed on injured reserve.
Personally, I still am hoping that Case Keenum, currently a backup for the Texans, ends up in Baltimore. Keenum has played under offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, he's a pocket passer and likely wouldn't be as big of an overhaul to the style of Kubiak's West Coast offense if something were to unfortunately happen to Flacco.
Keenum is currently apart of a three quarterback system with the Texans including rookie fourth-round pick,Tom Savage and starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. If the Texans decide to not carry three quarterbacks on their roster, Keenum would have to certainly be on the Ravens radar either by free agency or via trade for a very late round draft pick.
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