Time for Smith to fish or cut bait

August 20, 2008 | Drew Forrester

So with today’s announcement that the Ravens are starting Troy Smith on Saturday in St. Louis, we can start to piece together the Baltimore quarterback puzzle.

Apparently – at least in my opinion – it’s now Troy Smith’s job to lose.

That’s cool.

Give him three or more quarters in St. Louis and see what happens.

Either he plays well and the great summer mystery is over and we have a starting quarterback for September 7 or he stinks up the joint and we’re back to Kyle Boller.

At least, now, there’s an end in sight and Smith has the chance to seal the deal himself. That’s obviously why Harbaugh is giving him the start on Saturday. If the new coach thought Boller was his man, he’d just go ahead and plug him in there behind Jason Brown on Saturday and use the “Kyle’s made 42 starts in his career and he gives us the best chance to win right now” story. Clearly, the organization feels Smith has more to offer or he wouldn’t be starting on Saturday.

And, by starting Troy in St. Louis, Harbaugh can placate the player-pool who support Smith as if he’s running for Governor.

No more excuses about “not getting a chance” and all that Who Struck John? Smith gets behind center on Saturday night in St. Louis and it’s HIS team for the better part of the night.

For everyone’s sanity, let’s hope he plays well and we can all move on to the opener against the Bengals and get ready for real football to commence.

He might just play well, of course.

Then again, he could drop a giant steamer at midfield and suddenly our new favorite son (again) is Kyle Boller.

I don’t care at this point.

I’m just happy that Smith is going to get a shot.

It’s the right thing to do.

It’s his job to lose, now. Put that kind of pressure on him and let’s see how he responds to it. After all, as he has reminded everyone time and time again, he WAS a Heisman Trophy winner. This can’t be much different than Ohio State vs. Michigan in the Big House, right?

If Smith squanders this chance, he has no axe to grind with anyone.

Saturday night will tell the story. For his sake, I hope he plays more like Troy Aikman than Troy Smith.