With four quarterbacks on the Ravens' roster, the number of balls they get to throw in training camp can be a premium. That seems to be the case with Curtis Painter, who has gotten fewer snaps than starter Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor -- Painter's primary competition to back up Flacco. But Painter, who made eight starts with the Indianapolis Colts last season, said he's not fretting about his playing time in camp.
"I guess it's kind of part of the way it is," he said after Tuesday's practice at the team's headquarters in Owings Mills. "You get your reps whenever. You can only get so many during the course of camp. There's only so many to give out. And with Joe being the guy, he's going to get the majority of them. That's how it is, and that's how it is with everybody out here. You've just got to take advantage of the ones that you get."
But one might think that the number of reps a player gets in camp would contribute to that player's ability to make an impression with the coaching staff. If so, that's an option that Painter isn't concerning himself with.
"I've never really thought about it like that," he said. "I'm still back there. Every play, we're still talking with our coaches and talking through things. I think from that standpoint, a coach can kind of get an idea of how far along you are at least mentally. And like I said, it's just a matter of when you get in there, just showing them that you know what you're doing and you can make things go. I've never really looked at it as a handicap necessarily. It's just kind of the way things are."
Quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, who was the head coach in Indianapolis last year, said Painter hasn't gotten much of an opportunity to prove himself. That's why Thursday night's preseason opener at the Atlanta Falcons might loom large with regards to evaluating Painter, according to Caldwell.
"That's obviously the case because he has not had a whole lot up to this point," he said. "But he has had his fair share, and hopefully, we plan on getting him a few more during these preseason games and see if he can continue to improve."
At this point, it appears that Taylor has a lead on Painter, who has made some questionable decisions with his throws and has seemed skittish under the defense's pass rush.
But Painter could turn things around with a solid performance Thursday night, which is what he is looking forward to.
"Obviously, there's always things you think you can come out of and see that you've done well and things that you can improve," he said. "I think from here and going forward, it's about transferring it over to the games. It's been a while since we've been in a game situation – as much as you try to replicate it here. So it'll be a good opportunity for us to transition over to it."