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Thursday, July 24, 2008
Ravens position battles

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Ravens logoHere is a look at key position battles for the Ravens:

Quarterback: Kyle Boller vs. Troy Smith vs. Joe Flacco

The Baltimore Ravens are just one of two teams in the entire league faced with a three-way quarterback race. Miami also is in a similar spot this summer. But what makes Baltimore's group interesting is that all three quarterbacks have different strengths and weaknesses, so the Ravens will have to decide which skill set they want to mold into Cam Cameron's attacking offense. Will they take the more mobile quarterback in Smith, who also is very undersized? Or will Baltimore choose the experienced Kyle Boller, whose poor decision making over the years has left much to be desired? Hot-shot rookie Joe Flacco has the look and the strongest arm, but can he read NFL defenses at this early stage? The Ravens have about six weeks to answer these questions.

Intensity index: Hot

Cornerback: Samari Rolle vs. Fabian Washington

This is only a competition because of questions about Samari Rolle's health. Rolle is the starting cornerback in Baltimore when he's available, but complications from epilepsy caused Rolle to miss 10 games last season. Baltimore's defense finally displayed a glaring weakness in 2007 with a banged-up secondary, so the team went out and got Fabian Washington, a former first-round pick, to provide depth. Washington will see a lot of action early in camp because Rolle also will be a late arrival following the sudden passing of his father.

Intensity index: Mild