With last week’s trade of John Beck to the Washington Redskins, this move leaves the Ravens with the three quarterbacks Baltimore is most likely going to take into the regular season.
Obviously, there is the starter, Joe Flacco, and the backup the Ravens signed in the off-season, ex-Rams starter Marc Bulger.
But the third quarterback on the roster; quarterback Troy Smith, may be the biggest question mark of them all, because a few weeks ago, he was the odds-on favorite to not make the team.
Smith, who has at times played and behaved his way out of a starting job here in Baltimore, was relieved to still be a Raven for the time being, and he said his competing hard every day in training camp so far must have gave GM Ozzie Newsome notice to keep him on the payroll.
“I would never say it’s getting easier,” Smith told Thyrl Nelson on Thursday. “You put so much into getting ready into camp. And you compete. Everybody does. Every position on the field, we’re competing. And it’s no where near getting easier. But I am more comfortable with the things going around here, and the understanding of the offense and the understanding of football in itself.”
Smith, who won the Heisman Trophy in 2006, has made it known in the past-most recently in the 2010 offseason-that he has wanted a starting job and demanded a trade. His representation in the off-season said Smith would “crawl from Baltimore to Cleveland” to start for his hometown Browns.
But Smith did resign with the Ravens in the off-season, signing his tender sheet. For now, he continues to be patient and excited to be a Raven still.
“I think things are going to happen when its supposed to,” Smith told Nelson after when he would finally get that elusive starting gig in the NFL. “I think I landed here in Baltimore for a reason. And I got a chance to bond, and be with this group, this team, this organization, this city, and this state for a reason.”
“There’s no doubt to me that everything happens for a reason, and I definitely appreciate the love from my teammates, because they have my admiration going straight back to them. But things happen for a reason. But my time will come; I’m just patiently waiting.”
Smith is also studying. And right now, his professor has been new quarterbacks coach and ex-Redskins head coach Jim Zorn.
“He’s tremendous,” Smith said of the former Seahawk great. “You’re talking about one of the more tedious guys that learned a position. Not only learning it, but knowing exactly how to create and make a quarterback. And obviously him having success at this level means something also. He has definitely helped me tremendously and I continue to learn from it.”
And while Smith has been learning a lot from Zorn; one thing that he has yet to run just in camp was the famous “Suggs Package” that debuted in the October 2008 against the Oakland Raiders.
“We haven’t had a chance to get into stuff like that. I’m sure Cam and the rest of the offensive staff will do a good job with preparing us and getting us ready for the select games we have coming up. That package was something that was coined and dubbed early, and we haven’t seen it since because we’re not a gimmick or a trick type offense.”
All-in-all, Smith is just trying to become as perfect a quarterback as he can be, whether it be for the Ravens or the next team he suits up for.
“We run and execute our plays and we have pride in what we do. As a quarterback, all we do is perfect the game plan, that’s it.”
Tune into WNST and WNST.net for all your Ravens training camp news! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!