The past 12 months have been a bit of a whirlwind for new Ravens quarterback Curtis Painter. A year ago, he was expected to be the backup to Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts, but Manning sat out the season with a neck injury. Kerry Collins was ineffective early, pushing Painter into the starting lineup for Week 4. He made eight starts for the Colts, who ultimately finished 2-14, before giving way to Dan Orlovsky.
Last month, Painter participated in a tryout for the Ravens, along with 2003 first-round pick Kyle Boller and former Pittsburgh Steelers scrambler Dennis Dixon. Afterwards, the Ravens gave him a one-year deal.
Painter, who worked behind Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor during Wednesday's voluntary organized team activity, is excited for a new opportunity with the Ravens, who went 12-4 and won the AFC North in 2011.
"I'm coming to a great team," Painter said. "It's always good to be in that situation. Now I'm just getting adjusted and trying to learn the playbook and all the new faces and everybody. It's been a good process."
Painter said Flacco, in his fifth season, and Taylor, who is in his second, have been helping him pick up the unfamiliar terminology of coordinator Cam Cameron's offense, and he has been watching film with Taylor.
"We've had a lot of good sessions," the 26-year-old passer said. "They're great guys and good players, so it's going to be fun to work with them and pick their brains a little bit to see how things go around here."
Painter, a sixth-round pick by the Colts in 2009, appeared in nine games in 2011, completing 51.7 percent of his passes for 1,624 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was solid in his first few starts, tossing a pair of touchdown passes in losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. But Painter threw eight interceptions and just one touchdown pass in his final five starts before being replaced.
He knows it would take an injury to Flacco for him to see the field in Baltimore but says his ultimate goal is to be in a position to help the team, whether it's on game day or during the work week. And he hopes his experience learning from Manning for three seasons will be an asset he can bring to the quarterback room.
"There aren't too many guys like that," said Painter, who has stayed in touch with Manning. "To get to study behind a guy like that, as a young quarterback, I learned a lot from him and took a lot from that during my time there, so hopefully I'll be able to use that knowledge and experience going forward to help this team."