AFC North: Todd Bouman

Scouts Inc. on John Beck

May, 13, 2009
5/13/09
4:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

There is a new quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens and his name is John Beck. Because he has played only five games in the NFL and didn't play at all in 2008, not much is known about the abilities of Beck, the Dolphins' second-round pick in 2007 who was highly touted coming out of Brigham Young.

To shed some light on Beck, we invited Scouts Inc.'s Tag Ribary to discuss what he brings to the Ravens.

Tag, Beck hasn't thrown an NFL pass since 2007. What do you know about him?

Tag Ribary: I don't think anyone can get a real good gauge of his overall skills, because the Miami Dolphins were missing some pieces on offense. The receiver situation wasn't great and they were still kind of tweaking their offensive line around. So he didn't have a lot of time to sit and read defenses like you'd like for your rookie quarterback to have. But I think going to Baltimore where he knows [offensive coordinator] Cam [Cameron] and he knows the system they're going to run, that's a good fit for him.

What does it mean for the Ravens to have two very different quarterbacks in Beck and Troy Smith in backup roles?

Ribary: The variety is good because they have options now. If they lose the starter, they can either go with the more athletic guy in Troy, who can make more plays with his legs. Or they can go with and develop Beck as more of a pocket passer.

How much confidence did Baltimore show in starter Joe Flacco by cutting veteran Todd Bouman, because now the Ravens have one of the youngest quarterback groups in the NFL?

Ribary: No question, I think they feel real good about Flacco. Now they have some time to bring up another young, up-and-coming guy for quality depth down the road.

AFC North evening links

May, 5, 2009
5/05/09
5:31
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here is an update on the latest developments Tuesday in the AFC North:

  • The Detroit Lions are moving fast. They already scheduled a visit with former Pittsburgh Steelers' linebacker Larry Foote.
  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer sold his house in California for $2.365 million.
  • After being released by the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Todd Bouman quickly found a home with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell didn't receive a contract from the Cleveland Browns following rookie minicamp.

Inside the AFC North

May, 4, 2009
5/04/09
4:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are some thoughts and observations this week from within the division:

 
  Stew Milne/US Presswire
  Quarterback John Beck has reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens on a one-year contract.
  • The addition of third-year quarterback John Beck is an interesting move for the Baltimore Ravens. It now crowds the field behind starting quarterback Joe Flacco. This either means the team will get rid of veteran Todd Bouman and go with a very inexperienced quarterback group next year. Or Baltimore will have to make a choice between Beck and backup Troy Smith. My guess is the team goes young, which would display the confidence the team has in Flacco's knowledge of the offense in just his second year.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers starting defensive end Brett Keisel told the AFC North blog this weekend that there have been no contract discussions with the team to date. This likely means Keisel will go into the 2009 season playing out the final year of his deal. He joins an impressive list of 2010 free agents for the Steelers, which also includes defensive tackle Casey Hampton, safety Ryan Clark, tailback Willie Parker and left tackle Max Starks.
  • It appears Cincinnati Bengals rookie second-round pick Rey Maualuga may have to try outside linebacker initially to get the most playing time. A natural inside linebacker, Maualuga would have a tough time supplanting defensive leader Dhani Jones right away in the middle of the defense. Jones led the Bengals with 116 tackles in 2008 and also is responsible for making a lot of calls on the defense, which could be rough for the rookie.
  • There seems to be some early optimism in Cleveland Browns rookie running back James Davis. The Clemson product had a productive college career before the late emergence of C.J. Spiller. The Browns could certainly use help in the backfield to spell starter Jamal Lewis. So Davis, a sixth-round pick, will get plenty of opportunities to prove his worth this offseason.

Morning take: QB news

April, 1, 2009
4/01/09
8:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Here are the most interesting stories Wednesday in the AFC North:

  • The Baltimore Ravens signed veteran quarterback Todd Bouman to a one-year deal Tuesday night.

Morning take: This keeps the same trio of quarterbacks from last year intact with Bouman, backup Troy Smith and starter Joe Flacco. It's a good move to have at least one veteran in the group.

Morning take: Absolutely. No trade should take place without Denver getting a decent quarterback in return. I noticed some misread my blog entry as saying the Browns should trade Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson and get Cutler in return. Read closely, because I was careful not to state that. A three-team trade involving draft picks to Cleveland would work just fine.

Morning take: Thomas is undersized (5-foot-8), but his ability to return kicks caught the Steelers' attention.

  • Here is a media mock draft I participated in this week, which was wild and unpredictable.

Morning take: Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford fell to the Browns at No. 5, and after racking my brain, I passed. But if the Browns trade Quinn or Anderson to Denver in the coming weeks, Stafford would certainly be the pick in this scenario.

Boller era in Baltimore may be over

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
1:30
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 Joel Auerbach/US Presswire
 The Ravens placed QB Kyle Boller on injured reserve on Wednesday.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

Quarterback Kyle Boller joined the Baltimore Ravens five years ago as a strong-armed, first-round draft pick with the potential to become the face of the franchise.

But on Wednesday, Boller exited the team as a battered QB with a bum shoulder and bruised confidence.

The Ravens put Boller on injured reserve Wednesday because of a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder. He is in the final year of his contract, so this move likely signals the end of the his time in Baltimore.

Boller's career was unsuccessful with the Ravens for a variety of reasons.

Boller has always had trouble reading defenses and taking care of the football -- even as recently as this preseason. He also has never had the best of talent around him to succeed on offense and perhaps was thrown onto the field too early.

The Ravens' new regime, led by rookie head coach John Harbaugh, is more than prepared to move on with first-round pick Joe Flacco and second-year quarterback Troy Smith. The team also signed veteran Todd Bouman this week.

Boller briefly tried treatment for his shoulder injury but is making the right call to have surgery. If he stayed on the roster, he would have been an ailing backup, and he doesn't want to hit the free-agent market with a lingering injury, which could hurt his chances of landing with another team in 2009.

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