View Full Version : McNair era could be over, so Ravens need QB answers

11-15-2007, 08:27 AM
here's the link By Jamison Hensley Baltimore Sun] (http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.ravens15nov15001520,0,6756088.story)

Kyle Boller was back with the Ravens' starting offense again yesterday, taking snaps in preparation for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

But is Boller the Ravens' quarterback of the future or simply the one of the moment?

Ravens coach Brian Billick said Boller could finish the season as the starting quarterback, and he didn't definitively answer whether Steve McNair would ever play for the Ravens again.

McNair, who is mired in the worst slump of his decorated 13-year career, is out at least two to three weeks with a partially dislocated left shoulder, meaning Boller will have a couple of games to stake his claim to the job.

Billick seemed inclined to let Boller start the rest of the season if the former first-round pick is successful.

"Sure, that's always a possibility," Billick said. "It has to do with Steve's strength, as well, and how we're doing as a team."

McNair's future with the Ravens is more uncertain.

Four years removed from sharing the NFL's Most Valuable Player award, McNair seems to be reaching the end of his career. The 34-year-old has had more injuries (back, groin and shoulder) than touchdown passes (two) this season.

The Ravens could have to pay for their miscalculation on McNair. After trading a fourth-round pick to the Tennessee Titans for McNair in June 2006, the Ravens signed him to a five-year, $32 million deal (which included an $11 million signing bonus and a $1 million bonus last spring), expecting him to start at least through the 2008 season.

If the Ravens released him after this season, they would take a $3.35 million salary cap hit in 2008 (his $7.35 million cap number minus the $4 million salary the Ravens won't have to pay him).

Asked whether McNair would ever play for the Ravens again, Billick said: "That's a question that I really can't answer. Only time will tell that. My admiration for Steve McNair - the champion he's been, the grit, the toughness, the professionalism - is something that I will continue to value. I don't know that anybody can answer that question right now."

Answer needed
The one question the Ravens need to answer by the end of the season is whether Boller can be a capable starter. There are some in the organization who consider Boller a career backup.

During his three-year run as a starter (2003 to 2005), Boller showed flashes of being a legitimate NFL quarterback with his size, arm strength and mobility, compiling a winning record (18-16) in the process. But too often, he would throw into coverage, trip over his feet or rush out of the pocket.

That's why the Ravens replaced him with McNair last season. Now, Boller could regain his starting job in what could be the most critical stretch of games in his career.

"I really don't try and think too much ahead," said Boller, 26, who recently signed a one-year extension that could be worth more than $3 million in 2008. "We're playing the Cleveland Browns, and that's all that's on my mind. We've got to get back on track. That's really my main focus."

In McNair's shadow for the past year and a half, Boller has quietly turned his career around, developing into one of the better backups in the NFL.

Last season, he replaced the injured McNair twice in the first quarter, totaling 464 passing yards and five touchdowns. Boller's rating last season (104.0) ranked third among backup quarterbacks.

In three starts this season, he has completed 61.4 percent of his passes for 560 yards, throwing three touchdowns and one interception (for an 81.3 rating).

"Maturation has always been a factor, and I think you've seen it in the times Kyle has played [this season]," Billick said. "I think he's played under control and has been very effective for the most part."

It's been an interesting role reversal for Boller, who was once a hot-button issue with fans because of his erratic play.

Just two years ago, fans were cheering when he was writhing on the ground in pain at M&T Bank Stadium. Over the past two weeks, some of those same fans have been clamoring for Boller to replace McNair.

'That's life'
"I'd be lying if I didn't say it wasn't weird. That's life in the NFL," said Boller, who has talked to past quarterbacks, such as Phil Simms, about the challenges of the position. "It's not always going to be great. You just got to keep battling and keep fighting, and the best things will happen."

Billick almost pleaded with fans yesterday to extend more of a courtesy to McNair, who is struggling through the low point of a respected career.

"I understand the fans' anxieties ... but this man has been an incredible athlete and an incredible force in the NFL," Billick said. "He's been a class act from Day One. I hope people keep that in mind in the way that they deal with him."


11-15-2007, 08:34 AM
Kyle Boller is certainly capable of being a starter.

In the Arena football minor league. Maybe he can play some ball with Maurice Clarrett on the Youngstown Assassins?

The Browns are going to destroy the Ratbirds this week, which will give them the season sweep. Has that even ever happened before?

11-15-2007, 08:41 AM
Boller has looked great this year when he has played. If he is indeed the starter next year and the Ravens don't draft a Colt Brennan or Brian Brohm I think he will surprise some people. Don't be sleeping on Kyle Boller.

11-15-2007, 09:14 AM

He's not bad coming off of the bench, but as a starter, I don't think he's capable of leading a team to championships.

I think they need to give Troy Smith a shot, see what he can do.

But I think in the first round next year, they take a QB. BoLLLLLLLLLer isn't the future, he's merley part of a not-very-good present.

11-16-2007, 11:25 AM
Neglecting the QB position set the Ravens a few years back. Unless they can find a QB who contributes right away (See Ben in 2004). I think last year was their last shot to win, and they blew it.

11-16-2007, 07:02 PM
Boller is only on the roster because the "offensive genius" Billick drafted him and was so convinced he was the answer.

Boller is awful. He'll throw at least 3 INT's Sunday, and the Browns defense is awful. All the DB's need to do is stay 3 yards behind or in front of the Rats WR's. The passes will land right in their hands.

11-17-2007, 03:10 PM
DA 2 BLT via FA

11-17-2007, 04:57 PM
Pat White.

11-17-2007, 07:29 PM
Boller is great at throwing the ball 70 yards from his knee. Thats his claim to fame. Ravens were in awe of that. Thats it, the guy will never be a quality starter. Ravens defense aging as well, I see them in the cellar for the next 3 years minimum.

11-17-2007, 07:34 PM
Boller is great at throwing the ball 70 yards from his knee. Thats his claim to fame. Ravens were in awe of that. Thats it, the guy will never be a quality starter.

Kordell was pretty much the same way - could throw it a mile, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it.

11-17-2007, 07:41 PM
Kordell was pretty much the same way - could throw it a mile, but couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it.

Funny... before Ben, he was probably tied for our best QB since Bradshaw... with Neil "Paid Off" O'Donnell.

11-17-2007, 08:00 PM
DA 2 BLT via FA

I don't see that happening. He is only a restricted free agent, and I think the Browns are gonna sign him to the highest possible tender, which means any team that matches is would have to give up a first round draft pick. I don't see the Ravens giving up a first rounder for him.

Then as long as someone doesn't match the Browns offer, the Browns can do one of these posible things (keep in mind the Browns won't be trading either QB within the division):

1. Sign Anderson to a long term deal and shop Quinn .

2. Trade Anderson and start Quinn.

3. Let Anderson start the season as the starter and trade him during the season.

4. Keep Anderson the entire season, and let him walk for nothing as a UFA after the 2008 season.

5. Let Anderson walk at a RFA.

Now the Browns invested their 2008 first round pick in Brady Quinn. If they thought Anderson was going to be this good, they wouldn't have given Dallas their 2008 first rounder.

11-17-2007, 08:19 PM
In my guestamation... D.A. stays next year.

There will be a battle in camp between BQ and DA. If Quinn wins, DA will have a decision to make, stay and be a back up his whole life, or leave. If he wants out, the Browns may be able to pickup a 2nd round for him.

Funny thing... on the Browns board.. many are claiming that they can get a 1st and 3rd for him, straight up.

Oh yeah... that is the same board where people claim that Ben is just an average QB... others just call him a bum.

11-17-2007, 08:33 PM
Air McNair is finally done...last year he had a nice year, but the defense carried that team......There is no love lost here...go home and play w/ your kids Steve!

11-18-2007, 09:22 AM
There has been a lot of talk about DA here in Cleveland. A lot of people see this as a Favre/Rodgers thing. You can't sit Anderson as long as he plays this well, and they don't have a ton of money invested in him. I think they'll keep him.

11-18-2007, 09:51 AM

Funny thing... on the Browns board.. many are claiming that they can get a 1st and 3rd for him, straight up.


This is the same fan base that still thinks that Kellen Winslow is among the best tight ends in football.

11-18-2007, 02:25 PM
I'm just curious, is there a good enough QB coming out that we should worry about how many games the ratbirds lose?

I mean I wouldn't want them getting a good enough pick that they could actually get some productive draft picks.