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The world's worst-kept secret

Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed yesterday that Joe Flacco will be the starter when the Ravens play the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday. I'm sure that came as unexpected news to a lot of people...in Beijing, maybe.

Harbaugh will not commit beyond Sunday, but that's just Psychology of Coaching 101. Much better to tell the kid that he's helping get the team through a quarterback crisis than tell him that the weight of the team is going to be firmly on his shoulders from here on out.

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He's also tiptoeing around a sensitive situation with Troy Smith, who seemed ticketed to start the regular season opener until a debilitating viral infection attacked his throat and cost him the opportunity of a lifetime.

Smith caught a tough break, but everybody's fired up about Flacco and there was no way -- politically -- the Ravens could start anybody else. They're 1-0 and the fans have embraced their new rookie quarterback. He's going to have to play himself off the field.

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