Late For Work 6/28: Best, Worst Backups. Where’s Bulger Rank?

Plus no trade demand for T. Smith and Mason belives T.O. is an asset.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Monday, June 28th, 2010 at 8:55 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison
PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Best, Worst Backups. Where’s Bulger Rank?

Marc Bulger is yet to officially, officially sign his contract, but it’s safe to analyze the newest Ravens backup quarterback against the rest of the NFL’s clipboard holders.

In most cases, a team’s No. 2 QB will put down that clipboard and become the most important man on the roster.

An interesting I-didn’t-know-that-stat was dug up last week by my colleague Ryan Mink (Minkster, as I like to call him): of the NFL’s 32 teams, 19 started a quarterback other than their No. 1 at some point last season. That’s 59 percent of teams.

Knock on wood, Flacco has yet to miss a start since entering the NFL in 2008, but considering the possibilities,’s Mike Florio ranked the top five worst and best situations at backup quarterback.

Ranked No. 1 among the league’s best was…drum roll…two-time Pro Bowler Marc Bulger.

“With Bulger on board,” Florio said, “the Ravens now have a solid two-deep depth chart at quarterback. If starter Joe Flacco gets injured, Bulger will enjoy something he didn’t have for his last couple of years in St. Louis — an offensive line actually capable of blocking defenders on a consistent basis.

“This latest transaction strengthens the Ravens’ chances for 2010, putting them among the best teams in the AFC. And with several other teams in need of a quality backup, they may be able to give Troy Smith his wish and trade him to a new city.”

Following Bulger on the best backups list were Kerry Collins (Titans), Chad Pennington (Dolphins), Rex Grossman (Redskins) and whichever of the three quarterbacks that wins the starting role in Pittsburgh and then eventually backs Roethlisberger.

And from “most-worst” to “least-worst” were Curtis Painter (Colts), Chase Daniel (Saints), Caleb Hanie (Bears), Derek Anderson (Cardinals) and Michael Vick (Eagles).

No Trade Demand

Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck believes trading Ravens quarterback Troy Smith to the Buffalo Bills would be a win-win situation for all parties.

But ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli doubts Smith presents much trade value.

“Even with the addition of Bulger,” Pasquarelli said, “the Ravens aren’t likely to release either of their other backups, Troy Smith or John Beck, before camp opens. Each youngster is scheduled to make just $1.101 million in 2010. And although Smith very publicly asked for a trade through his then-agent earlier this spring, he isn’t going to reiterate that request.

“The former Ohio State star is only 25 years old. Although he’s appeared in just 14 games (two starts) in three seasons, he is aware of the benefits of being with a solid franchise, and knows that it sometimes takes a few years for a quarterback to get his shot.”

Mason: Terrell Owens Can Be Asset For Contending Team

Asked why he thinks it’s been a challenge for Terrell Owens to find a new team and home, Ravens receiver Derrick Mason defended the oft-criticized receiver.

“Sometimes, the perception becomes reality and it’s not fair,” Mason told Sporting News. “Looking at him, you can see he’s in great shape, that he can still fare well and produce numbers. But now he’s been treated like a scapegoat for what happened in Buffalo; it’s unfair. After a while, right or wrong, there are just some teams that don’t want to deal with a potential headache. He can be still an asset for some contending team.”

Two Flacco-Harbaugh Connections

Joe Flacco’s younger brother, John, will be trying out for John Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, at Stanford University as a walk-on. Jim, of course, is Stanford’s head coach.

That wasn’t confusing at all.

John Flacco, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back, notched 32 receptions for 500 yards and three touchdowns as a senior and was also ranked No. 1 academically in his class.

Despite his own accomplishments, John Flacco told the Philadelphia enquirer that he used his connections to get the tryout.

“That is definitely something that helped out in getting me to a school like that,” John Flacco said. “My brother was in contact with the Harbaughs.”

Quick Hits

  • Great feature by Baltimore Sun’s Ken Murray on Ravens young cornerback Cary Williams who is trying to make the most of a second chance.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell kicked off the annual rookie symposium Sunday evening by talking to the league’s newest players about a range of topics, including taking responsibility and honoring the game, according to the Associated Press.
  •’s Peter Schrager released his NFL top 100 players in 2010 (1-20) and listed Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis at No. 20.

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