Let’s be honest, the Ravens at 4-6 are not making the playoffs this year. I know they are mathematically still alive. They can win out and see what happens. Right and Rosie O’Donnell will win the 2008 Miss America Pageant.
So now the question becomes what to do with the rest of the 2007 season. The answer in my mind is simple: give Kyle Boller the ball, and let’s see what he really can do, once and for all.
No more conservative game plans, no more short passes, no more run, run and a three-yard pass. Instead the Ravens should use the same game plan they used in second half last week: intermediate to long passes, use the run in spots, throw him in some shotgun at different times, use three wideouts and maybe some no huddle at times, and let her rip. Push the envelope down the field. Don’t worry about putting the defense in a bad position or turnovers.
Heck, we turned the ball over 16 times in three weeks by playing it safe. Where has that gotten us?
Look whether we win six, seven or eight games, it doesn’t matter. We aren’t good enough right now to compete for a title. The next six weeks especially will give us a really good gage on whether Boller is the man for the future. Remember he is only 26 years old. We are playing twice on the road against above-average teams (San Diego & Seattle) and twice at home against the two best teams in the NFL (New England & Indianapolis). Throw in Pittsburgh and their zone blitz at home. That’s a challenge!
He will face some really good defensive talent and schemes; so let’s see if the year and half as McNair’s understudy has changed anything. Boller has to be given one last good shot; the team has invested too much in him not to give it one more try. Like last Sunday, put the team on his shoulders and see if he can carry the load.
I hope he can because if Boller can come out of this looking good, we may not have to reach into the draft pool for a quarterback. This would allow the Ravens to look to add some new parts to an aging defense — possibly a cornerback and young defensive end who can get to the passer.
If he can’t, then the Ravens can’t pass up this draft class of quarterbacks. This year’s class includes: Brian Brohm of Louisville, Matt Ryan of Boston College, and Andre Woodson of Kentucky, all first 15 picks. Oregon’s Dennis Dixon would of joined them if not for a knee injury, but he might still be a late first or early second round pick. It would be too tempting not to grab one of these signal callers.
This class also includes John David Booty of USC, Chad Henne of Michigan, Erik Angie of Tennessee, Colt Brennan of Hawaii and Joe Flacco of Delaware who will go anywhere between rounds 2-5.
So throw caution to the wind and a devise schemes to get some better pass protection. Throw the full playbook at Boller and make the last six games starting with tomorrow interesting. Playing it safe and winning 13-10 or losing 16-9 doesn’t answer the questions.
We know we have a good defense and that Willis McGahee can run. Now find out if we have the quarterback of the future or if we need to get one.