Boller hits mark for now


By Jamison Hensley

If Kyle Boller's shoulder is healthy enough for him to play, he should be the Ravens' starting quarterback in the regular-season opener.

Supporters for Troy Smith will point to his confidence. But you can't ignore completion percentage.

Boller's completion percentage has increased every season, topping out at 61 percent last year. Smith has connected on just 47 percent of his throws this preseason and about 53 percent in four games last season.

The statistics say Boller provides the best chance of moving the ball on a consistent basis.

Boller has become an easy target for Ravens fans because of countless turnovers and poor decisions. But it's easy to forget his positives.

At this point, he is the Ravens' most well-rounded quarterback from size to arm strength to experience.

Others will point to Smith's intangibles, such as being a winner at Ohio State. Boller, though, was 18-16 as an NFL starting quarterback before last season's disastrous turn.

It's time to stop the Boller bashing and accept the reality of the situation. Boller might no longer be the Ravens' quarterback of the future, but he is the best quarterback of the present.

Smith safe port in this storm


By David Steele

Sometimes the devil you know isn't actually better than the devil you don't know.

With Troy Smith, you don't have much of a track record on which to base a decision. That helps the Ravens in this way: He hasn't taken the beating Kyle Boller has, become known for soul-crushing turnovers the way Boller has or inspired widespread skepticism the way Boller has.

What Smith has done in a short time is carry himself like a field general, presenting an aura of command in and out of the huddle that true starters must have. He hasn't been in position to make a lot of decisions under fire, but when he has, they have not been the disastrous, drive-killing, forehead-slapping variety.

On the contrary, he has not acted rattled very often, if at all, and projects calmness rather than jitters and jumps. That will come in handy with an offense that bears all the signs of being in constant chaos. We've already seen what Boller does under similar conditions.

That's not much of an endorsement. Then again, this isn't much of a competition.

What do you think? Get in on the argument by commenting below.