Curtis Painter Trying To ‘Hang On’

Curtis Painter wants to do enough in the offseason to prove he can play in the NFL.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

Curtis Painter was cut amidst housecleaning in Indianapolis on March 9.

So he waited, and waited and waited.

Painter said he didn’t have any other tryouts before the Ravens finally gave him a call, bringing him in as part of a three-quarterback audition along with Kyle Boller and Dennis Dixon. Painter won the job, signing a one-year deal with the Ravens on Friday to be their No. 3 quarterback.

As he reported for duty Monday morning, Painter’s mentality is to perform well enough to survive in the NFL.

“I’m just trying to hang on and get better right now,” Painter said. “For me, it’s just coming in here, learning as much as I can and getting to that point where hopefully I can put them in the position to want to keep me around.”

The Ravens have carried just two quarterbacks on the active roster the past two seasons. If they’re going to keep Painter around during the year and occupy another spot on the 53-man roster, Painter will have to impress in organized team activities and camps.

Painter had never experienced the uncertainty of not having a team. The former sixth-round pick is entering just his fourth season after spending the previous three in Indianapolis.

While Painter “wasn’t being too picky” when choosing a team to sign with, he genuinely views Baltimore as an excellent opportunity to try to jumpstart his career.

Painter reunites with his former Head Coach Jim Caldwell, who he didn’t work directly with in Indianapolis considering Caldwell wasn’t his position coach.

But they do have a relationship that should help make Painter’s transition easier and possibly enable him to pick up Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron’s system quicker.

“He’s a very smart guy, football smart and in general,” Painter said of Caldwell. “I thought we had a pretty good relationship there in Indy, so it will be fun to work with him on a little different level, an everyday level.”

Painter completed 54.3 percent of his passes last year for 1,541 yards. He averaged 185 passing yards per game in each of his starts. Painter threw six touchdowns to nine interceptions. He was replaced as a starter by Dan Orlovsky in Week 13 after not recording a win (0-8).

But Painter believes his starting experience will help him even though he’s transitioning to a backup once again, like he was for two years behind Peyton Manning.

“The win-loss column didn’t go exactly how you’d want it,” Painter said. “But anytime you have something like that, if you take the positives out of it, then it’s a win. I’m building on the things I need to improve on and continuing to have confidence in the things I did well.”

Painter will get his chance learning under Caldwell and behind starter Joe Flacco and backup Tyrod Taylor. And he’ll bring his own skills to the table.

“Physically, I’m not quite the fastest guy on foot, but I think I do okay in the pocket. I think I’ve got a strong enough arm to make it work,” Painter modestly said.

“I think the biggest thing for me at this point is getting the playbook down and getting familiar with the offense. Hopefully that will come along fast.”

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