Baltimore Ravens' quarterback watch

WESTMINSTER -- Our latest deluxe glance at the Baltimore Ravens' quarterback competition between Troy Smith, Joe Flacco and Kyle Boller.

Troy Smith

Positives: Delivered a touchdown strike to Justin Harper in red-zone drills and an accurate end-zone throw dropped by Yamon Figurs. Adjusting to heavy pass rush.

Negatives: Doesn't always keep his fundamentals and mechanics sound, hurrying his motion and footwork due to collapsing pocket. Still prone to some miscues.

Stock: Rising slightly.

Kyle Boller

Positives: Took the first snaps in team drills. Adeptly finding his intermediate targets, especially Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton. Starting to look off the safety more than usual.

Negatives: Drilled a pass directly to Ray Lewis with the deflection richocheting into Fabian Washington's hands. His foot seems to be bothering him slightly.

Stock: Stuck in neutral.

Joe Flacco

Positives: Scrambling quicker than expected, given his size. Smartly throws it away when no one breaks free. Threw a frozen rope to Marcus Smith for a red-zone touchdown.

Negatives: Fumbled a snap from center Jason Brown. Needs to speed up thought process and reactions when chased out of the pocket to either get rid of it or find a safe throwing lane.

Stock: Hasn't been climbing lately.

Head Coach John Harbaugh

On if he has a starting QB in mind for the Patriots game: "No. We'll figure that out probably two days before the first preseason game."

On free agent T Chad Slaughter: "He looked pretty good. He must have been bending his legs. He moved around pretty well. It's good to have him in here, and he is a guy who's been in this system. He's played left tackle in the NFL before, and the way rosters are set up now, there are some good players still floating around out there. I know everybody's got guys like Chad on their short list and in some ways, maybe things happen for a reason. We're fortunate to have him in here."

On how many quarterback competitions he had been around: "In college we had them over the years, but nothing of this magnitude. As you know, in Philly we had Donovan [McNabb], and Doug Pederson was the guy, but he was mentoring Donovan. This is a little bit different. It's a first [for me]."

On reps for the quarterbacks: "We're just balancing it out. Everybody's taking equal reps. It's hard to imagine because it's not done very often, but we are truly in a situation where everybody gets equal reps, and that's going to go for as long as we need it to go through training camp. You'd like to think that somebody, or two guys in some way, will start to get separated on its own and I think it will. But if it doesn't, we've got to let it play out."

On the running backs' health and depth concern: "No question. That's something that Ozzie [Newsome] and I were just talking about on the field. We were hoping to get Allen Patrick back this morning. It didn't happen. We're hopeful to get him back tomorrow. We're looking at options about getting guys out to practice. We don't want to overwork Willis [McGahee], because he's really been working hard, but the knee is tender right now. So we've got to be smart about that position."

On the offensive line practice: "That's why you practice. Those guys get a feel for how long on a zone play they're going to stay on a block or how to get a lineman up on a ‘backer. That's something you have to practice to do and you have to do it fast, because if you don't do it fast, if you just do it in a walkthrough fashion, then they don't have the timing for it."

On getting reps for safeties: "It's a revolving door right now. Those guys are all getting reps, and they're all playing like ‘ones' right now. That's what you hope for."

On finding another new offensive lineman: "If we find a guy, then yes [we would consider bringing him in]. And Ozzie and George Kokinis are working hard, but you've got to find the right guy in the right circumstances to bring him in. John [Welbourne] would have been a good fit for us, but it wasn't a good fit for him right now."

On when CB Samari Rolle may return to the team: "We've got a tentative timetable, but I'd rather leave that to Samari right now."

On the offense improving: "You saw it today. You saw the offense today. The offensive line did a really good job in the team period, the blitz period, of picking stuff up. The quarterbacks had a few misfires but they also had some really nice throws. Receivers made some tough catches. It's about that much, but you see it coming every day."

On his comfort level as a head coach: "You'd like to sit here and say, ‘Yeah, you get more comfortable out there, you kind of get adjusted to your role,' but it's the same as it was the first day. It's comfortable, but it's never comfortable, because you're coaching and you're trying to get work done, and every day presents a new challenge."


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