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a look at Ravens QB situa. (plz read, i spent 45 min. on it)
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: a look at Ravens QB situa. (plz read, i spent 45 min. on it) Reply with quote

Iíve decided that with the season all but lost Iíd do some sort of look into the future, looking at position by position and seeing where we stand on it now and what we can do to improve it. Iíll start with QB since its clearly our biggest question mark.

Since losing Trent Dilfer, the Baltimore Ravens have gone through several radical changes at QB. First came the god-awful Elvis Grbac era, which thankfully ended quickly, followed by stints by both Chris Redman and journeyman Jeff Blake before the Ravens thought they had landed the QB of the future in Byron Leftwich in the 2003 NFL Draft. Only problem was, Minnesota didnít alert the NFL in time that Baltimore had traded up to their draft slot, and the Ravens settled with trading up to get Kyle Boller later in the 1st round. Boller had shot up draft boards during the offseason thanks to his rocket arm and obvious improvent his senior year when he threw for 27 TDís.

Kyle Boller has been anything but consistent since his arrival on the East Coast 2 Ĺ years ago, and thatís not surprise considering the Jeff Tedford product from Cal never really showed any consistency in college either. Nevertheless, Boller was a starter from Day 1 and has gone through his share of growing pains. During his rookie year, when he started the 1st nine games (he went 5-4), Boller threw for under 100 yards 3 times and threw for over 200 yards just once, but thanks to Jamal Lewis still grinded out some wins before a leg injury gave Anthony Wright a shot at starting, and Wright led the team to a 5-2 record down the stretch and their first division title. But back to Boller, during that rookie season he unfairly became somewhat of a joke in NFL circles, throwing for 1280 yards while connecting on 51.8% of his passes for 7 TDís and 9 INTís. He showed glimpses of his potential, including a 302 yard, 2 TD performance against Cincinatti.

But while Boller did improve his second season in Baltimore, it wasnít by the leaps and bounds that some had hoped for and, in an NFL where QBís like Eli Manning, Big Ben, Carson Palmer, and Byron Leftwich are succeeding in their 1st or 2nd season, Boller was behind the learning curve. Boller in 2004 threw for under 100 yards 4 times in 16 starts but encouragingly threw for over 200 yards 5 times. He had some very good performances, going 23/34 for 232 yards, 2 TDís, and 0 INTís against Dallas, going 19/33 for 213 yards, 2 TDís, and 0 INTís against the New York Jets, going 24/38 for 223 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT (on a Hail Mary) against the best secondary in football, the Eagles, and his career best performance against the New York Giants, going 18/34 for 219 yards and 4 TDís and 0 INTís. Boller finished the year having completed 258/464 passes (55.6%) for 2559 yards, 13 TDís, and 11 INTís for a QB rating of 70.9.

Going into 2005, Boller and the Ravens were expected to excel. Ozzie Newsome equipped Boller with all the weapons he would hopefully need, drafting Mark Clayton in the 1st round and signing Derrick Mason to a 5 year deal, but Boller in his limited time this year didnít really get to prove himself. In the third quarter of the Ravenís season opener against Indianopolis, Boller, who had gone 15/23 for 141 yards and an INT but had not led a scoring drive, was knocked out of the game on a hit by Colts DT Larry Triplett, injuring his toe and knocking him out for 8 weeks. Boller is finally back, and will make his 2nd start of the year against Jacksonville this weekend.

But the question remains to be seen, does Boller have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL? Seeing Boller in the preseason and in his 2+ quarters of play against Indy this year isnít enough to give up on him, but it looked like he was still making the same mistakes. Again, its not enough time to say hes done, but I can say that he was struggling a bit, though against Indy it had a lot to do with having an awful O-Line facing a tremendous Indy front four which resulted in Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Larry Tripplett and Corey Simon all in his face all the time.

The biggest knocks on Boller are tough ones to swallow. He is still inaccurate, having completed just 54.7% of his passes in his career. He seems to have happy feet, he never looks comfortable in the pocket and that leads to giveaways. Boller has thrown 21 INTís in his career and fumbled 14 times. He does have a strong arm, but he doesnít put much touch on his passes and most of his passes completed are dumpoffs or screens.

Boller will be playing for his job in the second half of the season. He knows that if he messes up again, Ozzie Newsome will search for a replacement this year. I think there is still a chance for him to succeed, hopefully he can right the ship, but if he doesnít this year, its time for a change.

Moving on to our other QBís, theres not much to say. Anthony Wright is very self explanatory. He has a live arm, gets good zip on his passes, but he is inaccurate and well, a bonehead. He makes far too many rookie mistakes and has trouble hitting receivers in stride. In 7 starts this year, he has led the Ravens to the worst offense in the league, averaging just 12.2 points per game. He has thrown 9 INTís and has fumbled 9 times, not good at all. In short, Anthony Wright is a bad QB. He is a FA at the end of the year and will now return.

With Kordell Stewart being cut last week, the only other notable QB would be practice squad 2nd year QB Brian St. Pierre, who turned down an offer from the Steelers to stay on the Ravens practice squad. He has little potential, a weak arm and not terribly accurate. He has thrown all of one pass in the NFL. He may one day become a solid backup, but nothing more.

So what is there to do about the situation? If Kyle Boller lights it up this year, then the answer is easy. Stick with Boller. If we have a shot at Matt Leinart, and Boller hasnít distinguished himself, then we need to take Leinart. But aside from Leinart, we should not take a shot at a QB in the 1st round. The 2nd round is where we should make a move on a QB. Darrell Hackney, Jay Cutler, and Bruce Gradkowski will all likely be available there, and all may actually be better than Leinart. Hackney has a tremendous arm, size, and strength, he reminds some of Daunte Culpepper. He needs to learn to put some more touch on his balls but that can be done easily, seeing as he has shown he can improve what he struggles in. Cutler and Gradkowski play similarly, both have great arms, are great leaders and are very accurate. Gradkowskiís only knock is his small size, Cutler has shot up draft boards this year with his great play this year. He isnít terribly accurate, which worries me a little bit, but he works with bad receivers and still manages to play very well, including last weekís near win over Florida. I like Hackney over Cutler and Cutler over Gradkowski, but one of these three should be brought in to give Boller some competition.

The last scenario I see would be to try to pull a trade for Pro Bowler Drew Brees or his backup Phil Rivers, or wait to see if Brees becomes available in FA. Brees is my first choice in all of this, it is the least likely but if we can get a proven NFL star(ter), weíll be set. Brees threw 27 TDís and just 7 INTís last year while making it to the Pro Bowl and has thrown for 2,088 yards, 14 TDís and 8 INTís this year while Rivers hasnít gotten much playing time but was a great NFL prospect in 2004, selected 4th overall in the draft. He has great arm strength and is very very smart. Despite his sidearm delivery, Rivers is very accurate and doesnít make many mistakes.

Hell, the Ravens may even wait until 2007 to take a new QB where Marcus Vick and Brady Quinn will both be available.

If Kyle Boller can prove himself, the job is his, plain and simple. But if not, Baltimore, who will likely bring in a new HC this year, will start fresh at QB as well, or at least push Boller with some competition.
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raven5255


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Terp. I agree with most of the stuff, there are a few things Im not totally with you on, but thats just minor matters of opinion. You brought up some good points and stats though. Again, good work putting that together.
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mikedoobie


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a quality write up cant wait for the other positions if you do

another qb that we could take a try on could be Drew Stanton who has had a really good season and i see him declaring..he shows good pocket prescence and has all the tools to be a great qb in the Jeff Garcia type mold but will need good coaching and could have a longer learing curve who some dont wanna try again. We could get him in late 2nd with a trade back in the 2nd or something
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

raven5255 wrote:
Nice work Terp. I agree with most of the stuff, there are a few things Im not totally with you on, but thats just minor matters of opinion. You brought up some good points and stats though. Again, good work putting that together.


just curious but what subjects are you in disagreement with?


to be honest, looking over Kyle Boller's stats and game logs made me remember a little bit why i had so much optimism in the first place this offseason. I have been bashing him for weeks now but i'm starting to back off that claim as i start to look at him closer, i'm still not sold on him but i do think he could still turn out to be a dependable starter. only time will tell.
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raven5255


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well normally I would have made one of my usual long posts defending Boller full of stats and comparisons and such, but I gotta go to class in 15 minutes, plus Ive made soo many Boller posts before, Im just drained from it. So I will keep my comments breif.

1. You mentioned inconsistacy in college and I disagree with that. He threw for 2 or more TDs in 9 of 12 games and over 200 yards in 8 of 12 games. I thought that was pretty consistant, but I guess it all depends on your definition of consistancy.

2. You compared his play to that of Eli Manning, Big Ben, Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwhich. None of them played in anywhere near the same siutations. Manning and Palmer were first overall picks, Lefthwich was top 10. I believe Big Ben was picked 11th. They were all expected to be much better. Eli Manning sat for the first half of the season last year and when he did begin to play we was downright terrible(im sure you remember his QB rating of zero against us last season). Leftwhich also sat for almost half the season before playing and he wasnt that great either when he first played. Carson Palmer sat for an entire year learning behind Jon Kitna before playing. Now Il bring up the issues of weapons around them. Palmer makes his first start with Rudi Johnson, a young talented Oline, a top 5 if not top 3 WR in Chad Johnson and one of the best #2 receivers in TJ Houshmenzadeh. Eli Manning, now has Plaxico Burress joining Toomer and Shockey and a vastly improved Oline. Leftwhich had Jimmy Smith and a mob of young talented recievers. Big Ben had the leagues best Oline and running game plus Ward, Burress and Randle El. (Still Big Ben was a freak of nature though, players like him only come out every decade at the most). Kyle Boller had a fading Oline that could run block, but not pass block, a bad running game(last season) and a core of recievers featuring Kevin Johnsn and Travis Taylor that finished 2nd in drops in the league only behind the hands of stone over in Seattle. Bottom line, none had the same situation so its unfair to compare them like that in my opinion.

3. You mentioned his innaccuracy, sure he lets a couple soar over the heads of his recievers, but how many of those incomplete passes could be blamed on Baltmore's stud recievers?

4. Okay, I know Boller has had some trouble hanging onto the football, especially while he is running with it, but fixing that can only come with time and expierence. Interceptions I have never seen as a problem with Boller, unlike Wright, he rarely makes dangerous throws into heavy coverage, he is much more smart about dumping it off or throwing it away. Plus, as I have said in other posts, Boller has a ton of passes that are passes that should have been caught that the recievers tip away. Just look at the Skins game last year, he threw 3 of his 11 INTs in the first half of that game, 1 was a hail mary as the first half expired and 2 bouned right off the chest of his recievers(i still vividly remember that pass to Wilcox where it almost seemed like Wilcox tossed it away d'oh! )

5. I like Cutler over Hackney, but its close. I do however agree with Gradkowski and Whitehurst being below them though. Cutler actually reminds me a lot of Kyle Boller with his size, arm strength and athletic ability.


That took a little longer then I though, but thats pretty much it i guess.
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DaKingPin


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Marcus Vick was coming to the NFL this year? Like that he is leaving college early.
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

first of all i want you to know i didn't start this thread in an attempt to bash boller, i was just trying to look at the situation objectively .

raven5255 wrote:


1. You mentioned inconsistacy in college and I disagree with that. He threw for 2 or more TDs in 9 of 12 games and over 200 yards in 8 of 12 games. I thought that was pretty consistant, but I guess it all depends on your definition of consistancy.


i'm referring to the fact that before tedford arrived Boller never complted more than 50% of his passes and threw 2 more INT's than TD's. any way you look at it, Tedford turned this guy into a 1st round pick.

raven5255 wrote:

2. You compared his play to that of Eli Manning, Big Ben, Carson Palmer and Byron Leftwhich. None of them played in anywhere near the same siutations. Manning and Palmer were first overall picks, Lefthwich was top 10. I believe Big Ben was picked 11th. They were all expected to be much better. Eli Manning sat for the first half of the season last year and when he did begin to play we was downright terrible(im sure you remember his QB rating of zero against us last season). Leftwhich also sat for almost half the season before playing and he wasnt that great either when he first played. Carson Palmer sat for an entire year learning behind Jon Kitna before playing. Now Il bring up the issues of weapons around them. Palmer makes his first start with Rudi Johnson, a young talented Oline, a top 5 if not top 3 WR in Chad Johnson and one of the best #2 receivers in TJ Houshmenzadeh. Eli Manning, now has Plaxico Burress joining Toomer and Shockey and a vastly improved Oline. Leftwhich had Jimmy Smith and a mob of young talented recievers. Big Ben had the leagues best Oline and running game plus Ward, Burress and Randle El. (Still Big Ben was a freak of nature though, players like him only come out every decade at the most). Kyle Boller had a fading Oline that could run block, but not pass block, a bad running game(last season) and a core of recievers featuring Kevin Johnsn and Travis Taylor that finished 2nd in drops in the league only behind the hands of stone over in Seattle. Bottom line, none had the same situation so its unfair to compare them like that in my opinion.


i see your point, but to some level you also have to look and see that Byron Leftwich started from Week 2 of his rookie season onwards and always seemed to have "it." Eli Manning, even though he does now have weapons, in his second season has passed Boller. Palmer i bring up simply because he is a division rival and because hes in the same draft class.

While Boller doesn't have the weapons, you also have to look at things and maybe wonder why Boller isn't making people around him better, like Leftwich has done in Jacksonville, Palmer has done in Cincy (with Chris Henry especially), or Big Ben has done in Pittsburgh.

again, i'm not trying to bash him, i do still think he has some potential to do good but thus far he has been very inconsistent.

raven5255 wrote:
3. You mentioned his innaccuracy, sure he lets a couple soar over the heads of his recievers, but how many of those incomplete passes could be blamed on Baltmore's stud recievers?


Touche raven, point taken.

but you can't honestly tell me that when you watch him play you see an accurate QB. he wasn't accurate in college and still isn't now, its not all the recievers fault, you have to lay some blame on him too.

raven5255 wrote:
4. Okay, I know Boller has had some trouble hanging onto the football, especially while he is running with it, but fixing that can only come with time and expierence. Interceptions I have never seen as a problem with Boller, unlike Wright, he rarely makes dangerous throws into heavy coverage, he is much more smart about dumping it off or throwing it away. Plus, as I have said in other posts, Boller has a ton of passes that are passes that should have been caught that the recievers tip away. Just look at the Skins game last year, he threw 3 of his 11 INTs in the first half of that game, 1 was a hail mary as the first half expired and 2 bouned right off the chest of his recievers(i still vividly remember that pass to Wilcox where it almost seemed like Wilcox tossed it away d'oh! )



i do remember the Skins game, i was yelling at the TV in the first half until Sams and Reed bailed us out. you are right about the INT's, hes not too bad about those, though he does make the occasional bonehead throw, but i do believe that fumbling is a problem. He has fumbled a lot since he arrived, while some of it can be blamed on coaching, i just feel like sometimes, like in this case, you are deflecting blame away from him when there is some blame to be rested on him.
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raven5255


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
While Boller doesn't have the weapons, you also have to look at things and maybe wonder why Boller isn't making people around him better, like Leftwich has done in Jacksonville, Palmer has done in Cincy (with Chris Henry especially), or Big Ben has done in Pittsburgh.


I dont really agree with that. The players that those other QBs had around them were already good. Sure they might have made them a little better or allowed them to continue being good, but in most cases they already had established dominance.

Besides in 2003 when he missed 4 games with a suspension, Jimmy Smith had 8 straight seasons with over 75 catches for over 1000 yards. And Jacksonville never really has had a number 2 receiver take any major steps forward just yet. In Cincinnatti, Chad Johnson had also already broken out with 2 straight 1000 yard seasons. You could say Palmer helped TJ, however you could also say TJ just never had the chance before playing behind Peter Warrick. If Chris Henry had stayed for his senior season, he likely would have been a 1st round pick. Hes got first round talent, but a 10 cent head (atleast he did at West Virginia). And while Big Ben made the team overall better, the numbers or Burress and Ward actually dropped when he took over.


And as for the fumbles, I acknowledged that as a problem, but learning to carry to ball better can only come from time and expierence as I mentioned.
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va4hustlers


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if Baltimore has a top 5 pick next year and if it so happens that Leinart is still on the board when Baltimore picks, i'd say draft him... regardless of Boller's performance this year. do what the Giants did when they got Eli Manning... you see a QB that can do a lot for your franchise and you do what you got to do to get him... IMO.
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mcdni


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

va4hustlers wrote:
if Baltimore has a top 5 pick next year and if it so happens that Leinart is still on the board when Baltimore picks, i'd say draft him... regardless of Boller's performance this year. do what the Giants did when they got Eli Manning... you see a QB that can do a lot for your franchise and you do what you got to do to get him... IMO.


I agree with this. If we end up with a San Diego situation then all the better. We can't pass on Matt Leinart. At the moment we are going to end up picking in the top 3 so Matt is becoming a distinct possibility.
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcdni wrote:
va4hustlers wrote:
if Baltimore has a top 5 pick next year and if it so happens that Leinart is still on the board when Baltimore picks, i'd say draft him... regardless of Boller's performance this year. do what the Giants did when they got Eli Manning... you see a QB that can do a lot for your franchise and you do what you got to do to get him... IMO.


I agree with this. If we end up with a San Diego situation then all the better. We can't pass on Matt Leinart. At the moment we are going to end up picking in the top 3 so Matt is becoming a distinct possibility.


i agree, i can feel it more and more every day, Matt Leinart in a Ravens uni. We will almost definitely have a Top 3 pick, if not the 1st overall pick. If Ozzie doesn't take Leinart when he has the oppurtunity, then he is crazy.
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raven5255


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think you can really say were almost definetly getting a top 3 pick, that seems a little pessimistic, even with the way we are playing right now. If the season ended today, the Ravens would have the 7th overall pick because we have the 2nd hardest schedule amoung the 7 teams with a 2-7 record. We've got 3 more "hard" games this season against the Steelers, Bengals and Broncos (combined record of 21-6), but weve also got 4 games that are very winable against the Texans, Vikings, Packers and Browns (combined record of 10-26). Its too soon to assume that we are almost a lock for a top 3 pick, let alone the 1st overall selection.
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BaltimoreTerp


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raven5255 wrote:
I dont think you can really say were almost definetly getting a top 3 pick, that seems a little pessimistic, even with the way we are playing right now. If the season ended today, the Ravens would have the 7th overall pick because we have the 2nd hardest schedule amoung the 7 teams with a 2-7 record. We've got 3 more "hard" games this season against the Steelers, Bengals and Broncos (combined record of 21-6), but weve also got 4 games that are very winable against the Texans, Vikings, Packers and Browns (combined record of 10-26). Its too soon to assume that we are almost a lock for a top 3 pick, let alone the 1st overall selection.



whoops didn't know that. i knew we were 2-7 and immediately assumed we would own a Top 5 pick Embarassed .

but you have to admit, its looking more and more likely every day that we ahve a Top 3 or 5 pick.
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va4hustlers


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm, let's see... Vikings are 2-0 with Brad Johnson... so i HOPE they keep winning... Favre still playing, so i'm not going to count out the Pack just yet... Texans & the Browns... toss up... i would only assume if the Browns had #1 or #2 pick they'd mos def draft Leinart. i know for sure that the Raiders would draft Leinart if they can get him. assuming that the Texans get the #1 pick, i'd predict Al Davis going crazy and give up their 1st RD pick and maybe next years 1st RD pick to move to #1 and draft Leinart.

but then again, i hope the Ravens will do everything in their power to get Leinart... imo^^
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theJ


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write-up BTerp. I just found it.

I do have one thing to throw in there. I go to UT, where Gradkowski plays. I wouldn't want him really. I was impressed at first because of his 70% accuracy, but then when i went and watched a few games this year, i noticed that 60% of Toledo's passes are screen passes. That's where the accuracy lies.

Don't get me wrong, he's an accurate QB, but he's not 70% accurate. Take a chance on him maybe, but he wont' be a starter right away.
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