Ravens notebook: Friday

OWINGS MILLS -- Anthony Wright is accustomed to being overshadowed by other quarterbacks. Whether he's being compared to opposing passers or injured Baltimore Ravens starter Kyle Boller, Wright rarely draws compliments or garners much respect.

Following a 20-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers where Wright passed for a season-high 252 yards, the focus quickly returned to the shortcomings of a passing game that ranks 18th in the NFL.

Among the criticisms: Wright's lack of efficiency in the two-minute drill; going 1-for-8 inside the Steelers' 30-yard line after he led the offense on an initial touchdown drive; missing open targets, including Derrick Mason, in the end zone.

For Wright, who threw two interceptions and one touchdown against the Steelers, it's something he doesn't waste time brooding about.

"I think I've done what's been asked of me," said Wright, who ranks second lowest in the AFC with a 71.1 passer rating. "I think that I might have started out rough in the Detroit game, but, other than that, I've been doing what's asked of me.

"That's all you can really do as a quarterback. You don't want to get out of your element because that only causes problems. I feel good about being productive in the offense, but I think we have a lot more room to improve."

Since replacing Boller when he hyperextended his right big toe in the season opener, Wright has completed 145 of 236 passes (61.4 percent) for 1,429 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. However, he has thrown interceptions in five of his six starts.

"A lot has been put on Anthony Wright, and I think he has held up well," said running back Jamal Lewis, whose subpar season hasn't helped the situation. "He has stood up to learn what is going on and to get into the huddle and lead this offense and really try to get things going. You have to compliment him for that, I do."

Against Pittsburgh, Wright threw for more yards than Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger, though, was superior at key junctures and engineered an eight-play, 60-yard drive capped by Jeff Reed's game-winning field goal.

"It's a mixed bag, but he's doing a lot of good things," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "He's continuing to improve in terms of taking ownership of the offense. His completion percentage was good.

"He saw the plays down the field much better than the week before in Chicago. He administered the position fairly well under tough circumstances."

It's unclear exactly when Boller will return, but it could be as soon as next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars or more likely two weeks from now against the Steelers.

Whenever Boller is healthy enough to return, it has become obvious that he will get his job back. Meanwhile, Wright will just keep on throwing the football until the coaching staff takes it away from him.

"I don't concern myself with that," said Wright, who's undefeated in two starts at home heading into Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. "I just have to go out and play. If I concern myself with what's going on with Kyle, I'm thinking about the wrong things."

NOTES: Billick said that Boller will dress as the third quarterback, marking the closest he's come to playing since injuring his toe seven weeks ago. "He has progressed very well with a minimal amount of soreness," Billick said. … The Ravens added offensive tackle Orlando Brown (probable, neck), but made no other changes to their injury report. .... Billick expressed optimism that receiver Mark Clayton (questionable, ankle) and fullback Ovie Mughelli (questionable, ankle) could be available Sunday. ... The Ravens have until next Wednesday to decide whether to activate running back Musa Smith from the physically unable to perform list. Although Billick said no determination has been made, it's likely that Smith will be placed on injured reserve after a gruesome broken leg that required surgery last year. … Bengals rookie middle linebacker Odell Thurman, who leads Cincinnati with 70 tackles and has four interceptions, has been called ‘Little Ray' since his high school days in rural Georgia. "It's a great compliment to be mentioned in the same sentence with Ray," said Thurman of Lewis, who will miss his second game with a thigh injury. "If I can be half the player he's been, it'll be a great accomplishment. I'm just looking forward to being able to hit Jamal Lewis. I'm not really too focused on Ray right now." ... The Bengals downgraded linebacker David Pollack (knee) to doubtful and defensive tackle Mathias Askew (hamstring) to questionable.

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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