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When the Ravens made rookie Tyrod Taylor the backup for Joe Flacco last year, there was some concern amongst outsiders about having a rookie sixth-round draft pick as the franchise quarterback’s insurance policy.
But the Ravens liked Taylor enough to make him the No. 2 quarterback, rather than adding a veteran backup to the roster.
With a full season behind him now, the organization appears more convinced than ever that Taylor would be up to task if Flacco were to go down with an injury.
“Everything you would want from a quarterback, from a guy that hasn’t played, Tyrod has it,” Ravens General Manger Ozzie Newsome said at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Newsome Laughs Off Manning Question
Peyton Manning will likely become a free agent this offseason, but the thought that the Ravens would go after him while they have Flacco and Taylor on the roster is laughable to Newsome.
Newsome was asked at the combine whether the Ravens would have interest in Manning, and he couldn’t keep a straight face.
“Joe’s under contract for a year and we’ve already gone on record to say Joe Flacco will be our quarterback. If he does get hurt then we like Tyrod Taylor,” Newsome said.
The reporter then followed up with, “So no Manning?”
Newsome just laughed, and moved on to the next question.
Taylor was used sparingly during his rookie season. He saw action in only three games, and lined up as a wide receiver in some formations.
Fans haven’t had the chance to watch him perform, but the Ravens love what they have seen from him in practice and meetings.
“He has unbelievable poise, he has great accuracy,” Newsome said. “He’s an outstanding leader in the huddle, in the meeting rooms.”
The only real opportunity Taylor did have to play was last preseason, where he showed promise.
Taylor completed 62 percent of his passes for 408 yards and a touchdown, but he did throw three interceptions and was sacked nine times. He’s a dual-threat quarterback – he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at last year’s combine – and he ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Also, Taylor orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback win over the Washington Redskins in the third preseason game.
The one knock on Taylor coming out of college was his size. At 6-foot-1, he is short by NFL standards for starting quarterbacks, which dropped him down teams’ draft boards and made him available to the Ravens with the 180th pick.
The Ravens liked him then, and after a year of watching him develop, Newsome feels confident in turning to Taylor if Flacco were to go down.
“He has to get on the field and prove that he can play, but all of the intangibles, everything else that you expect a quarterback to have, other than being 6-foot-4, Tyrod has it,” Newsome said.