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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Former Buckeye and Heisman Trophy Winner, Troy Smith, is Staking his Claim as Starting QB for the Baltimore Ravens

Former Ohio State Buckeye and Heisman Trophy Winner, Troy Smith, is Staking his Claim at Starting for the Ravens in week one v's the Bengals!

Head coach Brian Billick was not asked back for a 10th season in Baltimore, but it's still hard to see the purple-clad Ravens doing their thing without thinking of him and his long, mostly successful tenure with the team.

Flacco vs. Smith vs. Boller: It's way early in the Ravens' three-man camp quarterback competition, but it's never too early to start reading the tea leaves. I continue to think second-year man Troy Smith has the inside track on starting for Week 1, but do not discount rookie Joe Flacco's chances to force Baltimore into a tough decision over whether to play him right away. "I want to make it an easy decision, and I want to be the guy,'' Flacco told me Tuesday morning, moments after completing his very first NFL training camp practice. "I don't want to make it a tough decision. I want to make it as easy as possible. I want to go out here and prove that I'm the best and it's clear-cut. Those are my expectations.''
Flacco probably had the roughest practice session of his young Ravens career so far -- offseason workouts included -- on Tuesday, but his arm strength and accuracy are still eye-opening at times. He throws the ball on a line, and his delivery looks effortless.
"What you saw today is the worst he's thrown since he's been here,'' new Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "I think he's a little amped up. He overthrew a bunch of balls on the outside, but those balls had been on the money before today.''
Smith struggled mightily with his accuracy in Tuesday morning's workout, and if there's a knock on him, that's it. As for sixth-year veteran Kyle Boller, he played it safe mostly, dumping the ball off most of the time. Boller seems destined for Baltimore's No. 3 spot, but I still wonder if having Billick's stamp on him is the biggest hurdle he faces within the Ravens organization.

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