Redman learning from mistakes

Chris Redman had the correct intentions. Be aggressive by dictating the terms to the defense to score some points, thought the Baltimore Ravens quarterback. It was only three offensive series into the Chris Redman Era as the Ravens' latest starter, and already his impatience was mounting against the Detroit Lions during the first quarter of Friday night's preseason opener.

Operating out of the shotgun from the Lions' 30-yard line, Redman wanted to throw to his primary read on the play, receiver Travis Taylor.

Redman, 25, attempted to look off veteran safety Brian Walker before pump-faking to Taylor when he paused on a stop-and-go route. Taylor's assignment on the double-move: sell the shorter curl route and then accelerate into a fly pattern.

 Walker wasn't fooled, though. He immediately cheated toward the streaking Taylor and retreated nearly to the end zone.

Redman's pass sailed far too long, bypassing Taylor by several yards. Walker returned the interception 51 yards before Edwin Mulitalo pushed him out of bounds.

 "The timing was off," said Redman, who completed 10 of 20 passes for 93 yards, no touchdowns and an unsightly quarterback rating of 42.3 in one half of the Ravens' 12-6 win. "The safety kind of read us. I didn't look him off good enough. "I probably shouldn't have taken a chance. I forced it too much. I learned a lot."

This was just part of the initial adjustment of a new starter, one who has the necessary college pedigree and ability balanced against only three passes in NFL games that actually count.

 Giving this starting assignment to the third-year quarterback from Louisville represents the Ravens' sixth year in a row with a different starting quarterback. Redman is the fourth quarterback to begin a season during head coach Brian Billick's four-year tenure.

The Ravens are willing to invest this season to find out if Redman is capable of being their quarterback of the present and future. The fact that Redman recognizes his mistakes and can improve from that knowledge is encouraging to the Ravens' coaching staff.

"Chris will tell you it was boneheaded," Billick said. "The safety was too deep to throw that. He should have come off it right away, and he knows that.

"That's the kind of mistake you hope, having made that in the preseason, he won't make it in the regular season."

There were signs of progress already late into Sunday morning's practice session. Redman calmly fired an accurate spiral 45 yards behind the secondary to Taylor.

Touchdown, Ravens.

This was just practice, of course.

"Today, it was a straight go route," Redman said of his completion to Taylor. "I executed this one a lot better than I did the other one.

"A game situation is a lot different. You have to do it on your own. I like that. You're going to learn the most in a game situation. I think we grew up a lot in that game."

This is Redman's third preseason in Baltimore. Last year, he completed 30 of 43 passes for 69.8 percent accuracy, throwing two touchdowns. However, he tossed three interceptions for a quarterback efficiency rating of 74.0.

During the 2000 preseason, Redman completed 37 of 62 passes for 384 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 74.9 rating.

 "I think Chris' progression has been good," said offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, who played quarterback in the NFL for 14 seasons, including time as Hall of Famer Joe Montana's backup. "He's seeing a lot of things for the first time. What comes with that is mistakes. He's going to have some missed reads. "Everyone needs to keep in mind that it's his first year playing. You spend two years on the sidelines and it has an effect."

After the interception, Redman threw his throwing arm and shoulder into a much larger Lions defender while trying to get to Walker. Obviously, he could have hurt himself, but Redman said he wouldn't change anything about his approach to the play, other than the interception.

"If I throw an interception, I'm tackling and trying to make a hit," Redman said. "I'm not worried about getting hurt or anything else."

The lack of scoring in the game was Redman's largest cause for concern, generating just a 44-yard Matt Stover field goal for three points in the first half.

Redman said the offense needs to develop more of an opportunistic mentality and eliminate the mental mistakes. His longest completion came when he hit rookie Ron Johnson for 21 yards.

Looking back on the interception from Friday night is something of a study in experience. Walker is entering his eighth NFL season. Taylor and Redman are entering their third.

"The safety smelled that one coming," Taylor said. "He's a veteran guy who knows what he's doing. We have to be on the same page with each other. We've got to read those. It's going to take time for us to get the timing down.

"Hopefully, it will take no more than three weeks to get it right and get it going for the season."

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