Q&A with Jeff Blake

Player Spotlight Name: Jeff Blake Position: Quarterback College: East Carolina Measurables: 6-0, 210 pounds Age: 31 Hometown: Sanford, Fla. Acquired: Blake was acquired as an unrestricted free agent this spring after being released from the New Orleans Saints.

Resume: In his starting debut with the Ravens last week because of Chris Redman's back injury flare-up, Blake completed 29 of 50 passes for 298 yards, one passing touchdown, one rushing score and three interceptions. The Ravens took a 31-18 loss in Blake's first start in two seasons. Blake was the New Orleans Saints' starter until a broken foot led to Aaron Brooks' ascension. Prior to that, Blake started for the Cincinnati Bengals and made one Pro Bowl. He entered this season with career totals of 17,199 passing yards, 106 touchdowns, 72 interceptions and 1,739 rushing yards.

Role against Atlanta: Blake will direct an offense that may shed some of its conservative nature against the Falcons' aggressive 3-4 defense. The Falcons rank sixth in the league in total defense and feature end Patrick Kerney and linebacker Keith Brooking. It's Blake's job to find Travis Taylor, Brandon Stokley and Todd Heap within the seams of the Falcons' coverage.

Ravens Insider: "How much notice did you have last week that you were actually going to start?"

Blake: "A few minutes before the game. I knew the day before, but it was still a 50-50 chance that Chris could play because he warmed up."

Ravens Insider: "What does the extra week add to your preparation?"

Blake: "It makes a big difference to work with the guys, have an opportunity to talk about the game plan, see things a little differently, how things might happen, what the defense might try to do to me."

Ravens Insider: "Brian Billick said no one enjoys practice more than you, why is that?"

Blake: "Most guys I know that have been as lucky to be in the league as long as me enjoy every minute. You never know when it will end."

Ravens Insider: "What was it like being a backup?"

Blake: "I came in knowing the situation. I knew what I was getting into, which made it a lot easier for me to accept the role."

Ravens Insider: "Do you approach this chance like you have one or two weeks to start?"

Blake: "It really doesn't matter to me. I'm just going to go out and do my best to help my team win regardless of if this is my last week or next week or the first series might be my last series."

Ravens Insider: "What sort of subtle things has the coaching staff done to take advantage of your strengths as a player?"

Blake: "I can't tell you the game plan. Most teams when they play a guy who has been in the league a long time, they don't blitz as much. You saw last week Pittsburgh didn't blitz that much. They kind of stayed back. They got out of man coverage quick when I started running on him. I'm sure Atlanta will probably do the same thing, be in our face type of mentality."

Ravens Insider: "What's your big-picture thinking on the Ravens' looming decision on whether to stick with Redman after this season, or consider you as a long-term option?

Blake: "I haven't really thought about it. I'm playing for today. I'm not even looking at tomorrow. It's not promised to me. Yeah, I want a starting job, but I can't look at what's going to happen six months from now. It's irrelevant. What matters right now is this Sunday and how we perform as an offensive unit."


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