Monday, August 16, 2004

Boller still stinks

I wasn't able to catch the Thursday night preseason game between the Falcons and the Ravens, but I Tivoed the first quarter and a half primarily to take a look at how far the Ravens offense has progressed in seven months.

Anyway, what I saw yesterday was far from impressive. In fact, the offense -- particularly those plays designed for Kyle Boller -- was a lot closer to awful. When I quit watching, Boller was 3 for 7 -- and only one of those three completions was anything close to noteworthy (a 30-yard pass to Kevin Johnson). Two of the passes were so poorly thrown, the football threatened to trip up the receiver as it whizzed past his feet.

Luckily, the always lucid commentary of Joe Theismann shed some light on an already luminous situation. I'm paraphrasing here, but following a 4-yard Boller completion to the halfback (who was immediately dropped) Theismann shared the following wisdom:

"You see that play right there -- that's a product of the Ravens new quarterback coach Jim Fassel. Boller moved his feet in the pocket, checked down and hit the open receiver.
My first thought upon hearing this was, "Theismann hasn't gotten any smarter in the offseason." My second thought was, "if Boller needs a coach to complete a 4-yard pass to his third option, then the Ravens are in worse shape offensively than I first thought.

People can talk all they want about the Ravens winning the AFC North -- and maybe they will -- but they will be hard-pressed to do so with this quarterback and these receivers (by the way, Jamal Lewis was far from impressive in his few touches, but you have to expect he'll give his usual effort -- unless of course he's wearing pinstripes). And the funny thing is, the only quarterback to have a worse QB rating than Boller in 2003 is now Boller's backup. And his name is Kordell Stewart.