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For Ravens, tale of two quarterbacks

This is an odd turn this Ravens' season has taken. Both The Sun's Jamison Hensley and Mike Preston did excellent jobs reporting and analyzing coach Brian Billick describing this surprising balancing act he has undertaken with his quarterbacks.

Expressing utmost confidence in both, Billick has left open the door for more of what we saw last Sunday against Arizona -- replacing Steve McNair, who has been nursing a mending groin pull, with Boller. That Billick diagnosed McNair beginning to favor the injury and that he believed the Cardinals, trailing badly at the time, would bring more pressure were the reasons for Sunday's move. One that turned out OK since Boller led the game-winning drive for a field goal.

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But Billick said something else that was kind of interesting. He said that McNair was throwing -- and I paraphrase but it's close -- with more authority, that his arm was more lively after resting the week that Boller played against the Jets.

In that I hear that relieving McNair with Boller could go beyond simply this time when McNair is hurt. Or perhaps, the groin situation could be a season-long concern and if you want McNair there at the end of it all, he's going to need relief consistently.

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When I heard that, I immediately thought what Mike Preston wrote today. This is tricky terrain for Billick to navigate. As long as the team wins, the locker room will be OK with the quarterback moves. And statistically, the two have performed similarly. But should any of that change -- especially if a loss is obviously connected to leaning toward one QB or the other (relieving McNair too early, leaving him in too long, not returning to McNair if Boller slips, potential scenarios are many)  -- all of a sudden, this could get very messy.


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