For Ravens, dire got worse
By Bill Ordine
So, both the Ravens and Maryland Terps have their respective quarterback problems but the pro team is faced with a Kilimanjaro-size QB crisis compared with the Terps' molehill of troubles.
Even before Kyle Boller went on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, the Ravens' situation was dire. It comes down to available backup help and the challenge posed by the teams' respective opposition.
Forced to start a rookie who was relegated to the third string a few weeks ago and backing him up with Todd Bouman (assuming that the seriously ill and weakened Troy Smith is not fit for duty) means that the Ravens will have a first-string signal caller with zero NFL experience, a backup who hasn't thrown a regular-season pass since 2005 and a possible woozy emergency fill-in with two games under his belt.
As poorly as quarterback Jordan Steffy played at times in a too-close-for-comfort opening win over Delaware in which the Maryland senior suffered a thumb injury, Terps coach Ralph Friedgen does have the luxury of junior Chris Turner in the wings. Turner threw for 1,958 yards last year and came off the bench to lead Maryland to its most impressive win in 2007 over then top 10-ranked Rutgers.
Consider the opposition. The Terps next take on Middle Tennessee (a two-touchdown loser to Troy last week), followed by a decent California team and Eastern Michigan, before starting their ACC schedule.
Meanwhile, the Ravens -- with their largely untested quarterback corps -- open at home against the AFC North-rival Cincinnati Bengals. And even though coach Marvin Lewis has largely failed in his effort to make Cincinnati a defensive force, the Bengals did wrest 12 turnovers in two victories over the Ravens last year.
No doubt about it, Friedgen is in much better shape than Ravens coach John Harbaugh, at least when it comes to quarterbacks.
Terps and Friedgen at a loss
By Ray Frager
Given Chris Turner's resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite, maybe Maryland should hire Uncle Rico as quarterbacks coach.
If you never saw the Dynamite movie, you might feel a little lost. Which might be where the Terps are right now with their quarterback situation.
Ralph Friedgen had the chance to make Turner the starter heading into the season, but the coach chose Jordan Steffy instead.
Now, after one game, Steffy is out at least three weeks, so Turner steps back into the job he held for the second half of last season, when he went 3-5 as a starter.
Is the job Turner's for the remainder of 2008? What about when Steffy is ready to return, perhaps with an iPod-equipped helmet so he can't hear the Byrd Stadium fans?
Even before Steffy's injury, Friedgen wasn't ready to commit to him as far as keeping his starting job. So now Friedgen has two quarterbacks that he apparently doesn't want to start.
Oh, well. He can always put in Josh Portis and have him run the ball.
With the likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Da'Rel Scott, Maryland's offense has playmakers. But does it have a guy running the plays with the confidence of the coach?
What do you think? Get in on the argument by commenting below.