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Ravens Need a New Backup Plan

Street Talk Ravens Need a New Backup Plan

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“Well, you know, Tyrod’s only got one year left on his contract,” Harbaugh said.

“We’ve been very happy with Tyrod, and we feel like he has a great future, but we have been a little disappointed how he’s played in games certainly. We feel like he’s a lot better than he’s showed. I know he feels that way too.”

The handwriting is on the wall.

If John Harbaugh, one of the best protectorates of the Ravens’ Holy Grail, keeper of the fortress known as One Winning Drive, master of saying things without saying a thing puts it out there like he has with Tyrod Taylor, then the Fat Lady is at least tuning up.

“[Tyrod has] only got one year left with us, so we need to add a quarterback into the mix, whether it be offseason or in the draft.”

From day 1 the attraction to Tyrod Taylor and the team’s willingness to stick with him has been at best a curious choice on the part of John Harbaugh and his staff. Former head coach Brian Billick was always a proponent of having a backup QB who had similar physical skills in common with the starter.

The thinking there was if the skill sets were similar, the backup could easily plug and play into the game plan and into the offense. Of course there would be some adjustment but it’s better to implement some tweaks instead of revamping the entire offense while digging deeper into the playbook.

Could Taylor and starter Joe Flacco be any more different in stature and skill sets?

Doesn’t shifting from Flacco to Taylor require more adjustment on the part of Taylor’s offensive teammates given the obvious differences between the two?

Some might argue that it doesn’t matter who the backup is. They might reason that if a team loses its starting signal caller, the season is over anyway. (see Earl Morrall)

Don’t believe for a second that is what the rest of the team or the coaching staff believes. Jobs are ALWAYS at stake in the NFL so if you think a team or staff is willing to tank a season if in the case of the Ravens that God forbid, Joe Flacco is knocked out, think again!

So it comes as no surprise that the Ravens are now contemplating a new backup QB.

What is surprising is that it took them this long to consider the change.

Perhaps the arrival of Gary Kubiak has brought the overdue move to the forefront of the organization’s thought. Whatever the reason, it’s about time.

This isn’t meant to be a knock on Tyrod Taylor. The relatively diminutive former Hokie is an outstanding athlete. He’s just not an outstanding quarterback – at least not at the NFL level.

Taylor might be a better backup option in places like Washington or San Francisco or Seattle where there are more similarities between his style and that of the starting QB’s in each of those respective cities.

In Baltimore, not so much.

Take a look at the history of the league and situations where backups have adequately filled in and kept a team’s playoff aspirations alive. Frank Reich to Jim Kelly; Jim Hostetler to Phil Simms; Josh McCown to Jay Cutler; Matt Cassel to Tom Brady; Tom Brady to Drew Bledsoe.

Each had similar attributes that allowed offensive coordinators to keep their philosophical approach in tact. They didn’t have to ask the remaining 10 players to make adjustments to accommodate the backup QB. The integrity of the game plan, the continuity of the offense, a building process dating back to OTA’s, was kept in tact.

In retrospect Tyrod Taylor should thank Joe Flacco for being so durable and extending Taylor’s career. Now that he’s been in the league for 3 full seasons his street cred improves and the chances of him landing with a team better suited for his unique talents has improved and it could help him to shine if called upon.

Perhaps that’s what John Harbaugh was referring to when he said, “We feel like Tyrod’s best football is by far definitely in front of him.”

Hey, I wonder what Kyle Orton is up to these days?

Should the Ravens bring in a new backup quarterback?
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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony's new Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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