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Ravens rookie quarterback Keith Wenning displays progress in preseason finale

NEW ORLEANS -- Attempting to convince the Ravens to keep three quarterbacks on the roster, rookie Keith Wenning saved his best performance of the preseason for the final game.

Wenning completed 8 of 13 passes for 117 yards for a 90.9 quarterback rating Thursday night against the New Orleans Saints during a 22-13 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

"It was fun to be out there," Wenning said. "I wasn't nervous. I was just trying to make a play. I am pleased. I feel like I made some plays."

Wenning appeared much more comfortable on the field  during the second half after a shaky performance against the Dallas Cowboys in which he fumbled and was sacked twice.

"Keith did a great job as far as going out there and taking command," said backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 105 yards, one touchdown and an interception. "It was his first time getting extended snaps. He got a chance to play the whole second half. Keith's pleased with his performance. He went out there and played well."

The sixth-round draft pick from Ball State had a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to wide receiver Kamar Aiken overturned following an instant-replay review.

On that third-and-6 situation, Wenning rolled out to his right, absorbed a hard hit and threw an accurate pass to the corner of the end zone to Aiken. On that play, though, it was determined that Aiken had stepped out of bounds prior to the catch, rendering it an incompletion instead of Wenning's first NFL touchdown.

"My first read wasn't there," Wenning said. "I was trying to extend, Kamar made a good play to get open in the corner of the end zone. Touchdown or not, it was a good effort. I thought initially he was in. I didn't know he stepped out of bounds previous to that. If it doesn't go under review, I don't think they see that."

A two-time captain at Ball State who set school records with 11,402 career yards and 92 touchdowns, Wenning also connected with rookie wide receiver Michael Campanaro for a 39-yard completion along the right sideline.

"It was good to be out there and it was a good experience," Wenning said. "Definitely the more you're out there, the more comfortable you get. The extended playing time definitely helped."

Now, Wenning will learn within the next two days if he's done enough to make the 53-man roster or if he'll be released. Wenning said he would definitely want to sign with the Ravens' practice squad if he's cut.

"It's a decision they'll make and I'll find out in the next couple of days," Wenning said. "I'm comfortable here. Once again, it's something they'll decide in the future. It's not my decision and it's out of my control."

awilson@baltsun.com

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