Ravens bring in Boller, Dixon, Painter for tryout

OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens brought in a familiar quarterback for a tryout today at team headquarters: former Ravens starter and first-round draft pick Kyle Boller.

They're also auditioning former Pittsburgh Steelers backup Dennis Dixon and former Indianapolis Colts backup Curtis Painter.

The Ravens are considered likely to add a veteran quarterback to the roster.

They could use another quarterback for their offseason workouts and training camp, and signing one of these quarterbacks would create competition for current backup Tyrod Taylor.

Boller had a disappointing five-year stint with the Ravens after being selected in the first round in 2003, never fulfilling the vast potential that former Baltimore coach Brian Billick and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh saw in him at Cal-Berkeley.

Boller was a polarizing figure in Baltimore, one of the most criticized players in franchise history after being drafted 19th overall following a trade with the New England Patriots that cost the Ravens their 2004 first-round draft pick.

His lack of consistency, accuracy and frenetic style eventually cost him his starting job as he went 20-22 as a starter.

During his time in Baltimore, Boller passed for 45 touchdowns and 44 inteceptions. However, he completed only 56.9 percent of his throws.

Strong-armed and athletic, Boller has become a journeyman since leaving the Ravens four years ago.

He has played for the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders, but has been unable to regain a regular starting job.

Boller, 30, passed for zero touchdowns, three interceptions and 161 yards last season as he started once for the Raiders.

In that start against the Kansas City Chiefs, he threw three interceptions as he completed only 7 of 14 passes for 61 yards. Carson Palmer started for the remainder of the season.

Boller was replaced in Baltimore by the late Steve McNair in 2006, but he did start eight games for the Ravens in 2007 due to McNair being hurt.

Boller passed for 1,743 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions that year.

One year later, the Ravens drafted Joe Flacco in the first round as they finally landed their franchise quarterback. The Ravens wound up placing Boller on injured reserve that year after he suffered a shoulder injury during the preseason.

That injury opened the door for Flacco who hasn't missed a single start in four NFL seasons, has led the Ravens to two AFC championship games and is the franchise's all-time leading passer with 13,816 yards, 80 touchdowns and 46 interceptions for an 86.0 quarterback rating.

For his career, Boller has passed for 8,931 yards, 48 touchdowns and 54 interceptions for a 69.1 quarterback rating.

His best season statistically with the Ravens was his second season in 2004 when he started every game and passed for 2,559 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Painter, 26, started eight games last season with Peyton Manning out for the entire season following neck surgery and passed for 1,541 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Ravens' quarterbacks are coached by Jim Caldwell, who was fired from his post as the Colts' head coach last season.

In four NFL seasons with the Steelers, Dixon, a former University of Oregon standout, has passed for 402 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

In a start against the Ravens three years ago, Dixon ran for a touchdown, passed for another and threw one interception. He completed 12 of 26 passes for 145 yards during the Steelers' 20-17 overtime defeat.

The Ravens have said they're pleased with Taylor, an athletic sixth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech last year who played sparingly as a rookie.

The Ravens would ideally like to have three quarterbacks on the roster by training camp.

"Everybody competes for every spot every year, every practice, and Tyrod is no different," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said this month. "But we like him a lot."