Ravens Want To See More Taylor

Marc Bulger’s retirement isn’t sending Baltimore scampering to the free-agent market.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Categories: 2011 Training Camp, Ryan Mink

Throughout the offseason, it was expected that the Ravens would pursue a veteran quarterback to backup Joe Flacco.

When Marc Bulger announced his retirement Wednesday morning, it seemed the search would be magnified, as last year’s veteran backup appeared to be a natural candidate to return.

But hold on a second.

The Ravens want to get some more looks at sixth-round rookie Tyrod Taylor.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said there “a chance” the Ravens could go out and sign a veteran, but they also could wait until later to do so.

“We’re going to see how our young guys do, see how No. 6 does over there,” Harbaugh said, nodding to Taylor. “And we’ll try to figure it out from there.”

Harbaugh said there aren’t as many quarterbacks available at this “late stage” of free agency, but said there’s a few veterans. He also expressed confidence that in a week or two there could still be some on the market.

Cam Cameron Thinks Tyrod Taylor is a Special Talent at QB
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“If we decide to go that route,” he noted. “But right now we want Tyrod to get the reps and see how he does.”

Taylor, who celebrated his 22nd birthday Wednesday, has looked sharp and super-athletic in his first week of Ravens training camp.

He has deftly avoided the pass rush in the backfield – sometimes juking defenders as they fall to the ground – and has shown good touch on his lofted passes. The Virginia Tech product and reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year has also displayed a strong arm.

That led Baltimore Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron to call Taylor “special” yesterday.

The modest Taylor is taking it in stride. He at first said he doesn’t pay attention to media reports, then admitted he had heard Cameron’s compliment from friends.

“It’s a little fun, but I still have a lot of work to do,” Taylor said with a grin.

“I think I’ve been doing good with the reps I’ve been getting, but I’m still learning a lot and just working hard to improve my game. I’ve got to continue to go ahead and not take any steps back.”

Taylor said he believes he could be ready to be the Ravens’ No. 2 quarterback when the season begins. That’s only a month and a week away, and Baltimore knows the value of having a secure backup quarterback.

While Flacco hasn’t missed a start in his first three years, the Ravens played it safe last year and spent a reported $3.8 million to secure Bulger for one year. He didn’t play, but gave the coaches confidence.

“Your backup quarterback is just one play away from being your starting quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “So it’s critically important. You’ve got decisions to make. Sometimes you’ve got to balance it out a little bit.”

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