Aided by a mysterious flu bug that somehow sidelined Troy Smith on what was to be the biggest night of his young NFL career, the Raven’s Quarterback Quandry is at stage 5 confusion level right now.
How, honestly, can you give Troy Smith the starting gig after he bailed out of the start on Saturday in St. Louis? You’ve seen virtually nothing from him in the three pre-season games to date. And on the night he was supposed to cement the job, he comes down with some kind of flu-like condition and can’t play. I thought they built them a little tougher than that at Ohio State, but I guess they didn’t.
Kyle Boller has more experience than any QB on the roster but he’s no sure-fire bet to succeed either when the season starts on September 7. Last night, speaking of mysterious ailments, Boller missed the game with a sore shoulder. First we’ve heard of it…
And now, in comes Joe Flacco, who went 18-for-37 in St. Louis and tossed a nifty little TD pass to Derrick Mason to account for Baltimore’s only 6-point score of the night.
Did Flacco look any worse than Smith and/or Boller would have looked? Probably not. Does that mean he should start on September 7? Probably not.
But, seriously, Flacco represented himself well on Saturday. His first half looked a little rugged, but he settled down in the final 30 minutes and looked the part over the final two quarters. He didn’t stumble, bumble, fumble or throw an interception. He’s no Joe Montana yet, but I swear he looks as capable right now as Flu Man and Shoulder Man.
That said, now is not the time to throw Joe into the inferno that is the NFL regular season. He’s not ready for it.
We’re right back to square one, unfortunately. At this point, the most logical thing to do is let Boller start the season and hope that his 42 games of starting experience somehow paves the way for success against the Bengals.
Tell Troy Smith to stay loose, because he’ll probably be the starter by week #4. That is, if he doesn’t come down with the flu again.
And tell Joe Flacco to keep studying, keep watching film and stay loose as well — he’ll see time by Thanksgiving, if not earlier.
The Quarterback Quandry continues.