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Marc Bulger is in his fifth day practicing as a Baltimore Raven.
Yet he’s already running primarily with the second team and, armed with a lightning quick-release, is showing why he’s being touted as one of the NFL’s premier backup quarterbacks.
Bulger tossed a deep pass to Donte’ Stallworth in the end zone and connected with rookie Dennis Pitta on a well-timed route across the middle that left the tight end with a clear path to six points.
That was just during Saturday’s morning practice.
“There are a lot of little nuances I’m not getting yet, but I’m pretty happy with how I’m picking the offense up,” a modest Bulger said. “But I’ve got a long way to go before I line up on Sundays.”
Bulger spent the first five years of his NFL career with well-known offensive mind Mike Martz in St. Louis. Martz ran a system that prepared Bulger well for what he’s seen in Baltimore, so it’s mostly been verbiage that he’s catching up on.
“This offense is based on timing and throwing to spots than it is waiting for guys to get open,” Bulger said. “Our guys, from Anquan and the rest of them, understand that concept. You just go back and let it loose.”
Bulger said third-year starter Joe Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck have made him some “cheat sheets.” He said Flacco, in particular, has a good grasp of the offense and has helped him more than the other way around.
The Ravens hope Bulger will provide Flacco with a valuable veteran teacher. Bulger said that once he gets a firm grasp of the offense, then he can start talking to Flacco about picking up blitzes, coverages and what certain teams’ defenses like to do.
But for now, Bulger is staying in his playbook.
“I just want to [use] this training camp and four or five games so I can go into a game and run the team and we can win a game,” Bulger said. “That’s my goal right now. I have no doubt I’ll be able to get that done. But it’s going to be a constant week-to-week learning of all the little things in this offense.”
Smith occasionally ran with the second-team offense, but mainly was with the third-string. Beck ran with the third team.
After throwing a goal-line interception during the first practice of training camp, Smith led a touchdown drive capped off by an out pass to Demetrius Williams for a touchdown while running with the second team Saturday.