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QBs rate no raves in scrimmage; defense steals show for Ravens

In the first test of the quarterback competition, both Chris Redman and Anthony Wright received incompletes.

The Ravens' defense ripped the spotlight away from the quarterbacks, dominating last night's intrasquad scrimmage before 12,463 fans at McDaniel College. The defense surrendered seven first downs in eight series and allowed just one drive past its 28-yard line.

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Redman was the only quarterback to direct a drive into the red zone and finished 3-for-7 for 94 yards and one touchdown. All but 21 of those yards came from Taylor, the scrimmage's top playmaker, who was electric after both of his catches.

Wright, who took all of his snaps with the second team, was 5-for-9 passing for 25 yards and made two costly errors. His 40-yard pass to a wide-open Marcus Robinson sailed out of bounds and a poor throw into the teeth of the defense was picked off.

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Kyle Boller, the team's first-round pick, signed his contract at midnight Thursday and was held out of the scrimmage.

When asked about the quarterbacks, Ravens coach Brian Billick said, "They did OK."

Redman got off to a rough start, misfiring on four of his first five throws. In his only series against the first-team defense, he short-armed a pass to Taylor and had a short throw to tight end Terry Jones that was dropped as the offense went three-and-out.

"Obviously, you're not going to have much of a tempo right now," Redman said. "When you get a couple of series, it's hard to get a rhythm."

Redman established a rhythm when he started finding Taylor.

In the scrimmage's fifth series, Redman hit Taylor 13 yards downfield near the right sideline, where the former first-round pick turned a solid gain into a big one. Shedding an arm tackle by rookie linebacker Amon Arnold, Taylor dashed 51 yards to the 9-yard line.

Two plays later, he again caught a short pass, put on a couple of moves along the left sideline and scored from 9 yards out for the game's only touchdown.

"I think Travis has got the capability of being one of the better receivers in the NFL," Redman said. "So, we've got to get him the ball because he can make plays after he catches the ball. That's what I'm going to try to do."

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With Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap sidelined with back spasms, Taylor took it upon himself to step up and produce 73 yards on two catches.

"I'm trying to get back to my Florida days," said Taylor, a four-year veteran, "and get my swagger back."

Unlike Redman, Wright started strong and then faded.

On his first drive, he connected on four of his first five passes and converted a third-and-five by scrambling 10 yards. His only incompletion was a noticeable one as Robinson was running open down the sideline and the long pass veered out of bounds.

"Anthony moved around real well, but missed the deep ball, which is disappointing because it's one of his strengths," Billick said.

Said Wright: "It kind of got away from me a little bit. I was kind of excited about throwing it. I just have to calm down a little bit and take it in stride."

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Wright's other mistake came on his last pass, which was intercepted by Airabin Justin in the middle of the field.

"The defensive back made a good play and broke on the ball," Wright said. "I wasn't able to get good velocity on it."

While all eyes were on the quarterbacks, the defense ended a strong first week of training camp by flexing its might. The starting defense played only two series and forced three-and-outs both times, giving up a total of 5 yards.

In the unorthodox scoring system, the defense beat the offense, 16-8, scoring points by stopping seven drives without points, making one interception and recording three tackles for losses.

"We take pride hitting the field and stopping the offense, no matter who we are going against," strong safety Ed Reed said. "Coach told us, 'You're going to go as long as you allow them to go.' We wanted to make it as short as possible."


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