Boller deal ratified, makes camp debut

Kyle Boller is in accordance with the league management council that ratifies whether contracts comply with salary-cap regulations.<p> There are no such dangling questions regarding the physical skills of the Baltimore Ravens' rookie quarterback as he made his debut at training camp Friday morning in Westminster. Demonstrating his velocity in a non-contact session at McDaniel College, Boller promptly completed four of his six passes in his first practice since ending his holdout.

Those spirals included a crisp out pass to Randy Hymes and firing a touchdown to Travis Taylor on a slant in a red-zone drill. Boller also overthrew Ron Johnson up the sidelines by several yards.

"I'm just excited to be out with my teammates," said Boller, whom the Ravens drafted 19th overall from Cal after trading next year's first-round pick and this year's second-round pick to the New England Patriots. "I've missed playing football. It was hard. I was just working out as hard as I could so when the time came I was ready."

A day after Boller agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth up to $20 million with incentive and escalator clauses, he was forced to miss a fourth day of training camp while NFL executives reviewed the terms.

Boller sat in his hotel room the majority of the day after arriving in Westminster at 7 a.m. Thursday while waiting for his deal to gain final approval. He wasn't allowed to take part in meetings or even eat meals in the team cafeteria.

"It was an administrative process," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We kind of work on a different time table than the league sometimes."

So, Boller watched golf on television and read his playbook Thursday instead of practicing football and watching film.

"I wanted to be here as quickly as I could," Boller said. "But it is a business, it is my job and that had to be taken care of. It's done and now it's football."

Still, Boller has a lot of ground to make up after missing six practices and several meetings. Billick hasn't ruled out having Boller compete to start under center for the season-opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, he acknowledges how difficult it will be for Boller to overcome the advantage of experience owned by incumbent Chris Redman and veteran Anthony Wright.

When asked if the odds were against him starting, Boller said: "I would have to agree with the statement. It's tough. You have so much to learn. All of the stuff I will adapt to and learn, but trying to learn it right away is a hard task.

"I think it can be done, but at the same time I want to take it slow and when I'm ready the coaches will know."

Boller was held out of the Ravens' Friday night scrimmage, which is annually a hard-hitting affair, but will participate in today's mock game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Monday will mark his first full day of work. "Don't throw it to the guys in white, throw it to the guys in purple," Billick said of what advice he offered to Boller. "If you try to catch him up an entire week in or two practices, you're going to overwhelm the guy. So, you have to be careful in how you approach it. He's a week behind."

In terms of negating rust, Boller said he wasn't exactly on vacation during his absence as he threw daily with friends in California.

It's far from the equivalent of an actual practice, though, and the mental aspect of the game is where Boller has the most area to cover.

"He has good recall," offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said. "I don't worry that he won't know what to do."

In terms of installation of the offense, this week has largely been a review of what Boller learned during minicamps.

"Reps are something that you can never get back," Boller said. "Those days are lost so I definitely missed out."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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