QB to interview with Steelers

With the quarterback market drying up quickly following today's signings of Jake Delhomme and Rodney Peete by Carolina, and Jake Plummer by Denver, teams still looking for a quality starter -- or in the Steelers case, a veteran back-up -- had better act quickly. Arizona, Chicago, and now Baltimore are in hot pursuit of former-Steeler Kordell Stewart.

The Ravens, who have failed to find common ground with QB Jeff Blake, will now turn their sights toward Stewart as competition for Chris Redman. Blake has been seeking an incentive-laden contract that will pay him starter's money should he reach certain playing time, production, and victory plateaus. Baltimore, despite Blake's success in 2002, has been unwilling to meet his demands.

Blake instead may find himself on the outside looking in once again, and to avoid that end, will visit with the Steelers on Sunday. The Steelers are looking for a cheap veteran QB to back-up and perhaps compete with last year's starter Tommy Maddox. While the Steelers have talked contract with 2002 third-stringer Charlie Batch, Batch, like every other QB, is looking for a starting job elsewhere before committing to the Steelers.

Blake offers an interesting contrast to Maddox in that he is mobile, has an arm for the deep ball, and is black. In fact, Blake may throw the prettiest deep ball of any QB in the league.

The Steelers have often been on the wrong side of Blake's bombs, and so have a healthy respect for his talents. Blake previously torched the Steelers defense as the quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals from 1994-1999, and threw for 634 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Ravens' 2002 two-game series against the Steelers, completing over 63% of his passes with a quarterback rating of 75.2.

Blake has thrown for 19,283 yards, 119 touchdowns, and 83 interceptions in his eleven-year career. He has a 56.3 career completion percentage and a career quarterback rating of 79.2. He has also rushed for 1,845 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career at an average of 4.8 yards per carry.

Blake will visit with the Steelers Sunday.


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