Five Issues To Consider During Camp

BALTIMORE -- 1. Will the intensified focus on second-year quarterback Kyle Boller's accuracy, mechanics and decision-making translate into efficient production? Boller is being tutored by senior consultant Jim Fassel and appears more poised and polished.

2. Can a reduced secondary due to the absence of Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister (contract dispute), nickel back Dale Carter (season-ending blood clot) and the improving health of cornerback Gary Baxter (hernia) still perform at a high level against the Atlanta Falcons' Michael Vick and Peerless Price? Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan stressed that he'll use several combinations in nickel and dime packages, including strong safety Ed Reed against slot receivers depending upon Baxter's availability.

3. Who will take the early lead in the competition at right offensive guard? Incumbent Bennie Anderson has superior bulk and strength. Former third-round pick Casey Rabach has better athleticism. Expect Anderson to start, but Rabach will receive a long look.

4. Will seventh-round draft pick Derek Abney give return specialist Lamont Brightful anything to worry about? Brightful has done little to jeopardize his status and Abney has struggled. They will split duties tonight.

5. Is Randy Hymes in the driver's seat for the third receiver spot, or will promising rookie Devard Darling unseat him? It's Hymes' penchant for the acrobatic catch vs. Darling's untapped potential.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.
 


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