PHILADELPHIA — In his biggest audition yet for the Buffalo Bills starting quarterback job, former Raven Tyrod Taylor completed 7-of-10 passes for 65 yards and ran four times for 41 yards last night against the Cleveland Browns.
It wasn't a tour-de-force performance by any means, but given that the Bills were without their top five running backs and their top three receiving targets, it was a solid effort by Taylor.
He certainly didn't hurt his chances to win the job over Matt Cassel and EJ Manuel. The Ravens would love to see that happen.
Taylor was an extremely popular teammate. He worked hard, never complained and was a good sounding board for starter Joe Flacco.
Despite limited chances to play, Taylor went to quarterback camps in the offseason to make sure that he was ready if given the chance. So his former Ravens' teammates are surely rooting for him, and I'm sure the organization is as well.
If Taylor plays well and plays a lot, that will likely help the Ravens get a better compensatory selection for his loss. Taylor's modest three-year, $3.35 million deal will factor in the compensation process, too, but there are only positives to the former sixth-round pick playing well.
Training camp ending
The Ravens' final joint practice with the Philadelphia Eagles today is essentially a walk through before Saturday night's preseason game between the two teams, meaning that the training camp portion of the preseason is officially over.
When the Ravens return home, their practices will not be open to fans and reporters will only be allowed to watch the first 20 minutes or so.
I've been saying for months that Marlon Brown is a lock for one of the wide receiver spots in what has been the most-scrutinized position competition of training camp. But now, I'm not so sure.
Brown, to no fault of his own, missed most of the first couple of weeks of training camp with back and hamstring injuries. But since his return, he hasn't looked right.
He isn't getting a ton of reps and he's been extremely tentative, failing to get much separation on defensive backs. I'm sure the injuries have a lot to do with it, but Brown may be playing himself onto the roster bubble, especially if Michael Campanaro stays healthy and Jeremy Butler and Darren Waller have good preseasons.
Two weeks ago, I would have predicted with some confidence that the Ravens' regular-season roster would include seven receivers: Steve Smith Sr., Kamar Aiken, Brown, Campanaro, Breshad Perriman, Waller and Jeremy Butler. Now, I'm not so sure.
Converted wide receiver Tom Nelson has been running with the first team at times, ahead of guys like Butler and DeAndre Carter. Maybe it doesn't mean a ton, but he sure seems to be moving up the depth chart.
It's way too early to evaluate the Ravens' 2015 draft, but who would have thought that the wide receiver that they picked in the sixth round (Waller) would be one of the top performers of training camp while the one that they took in the first (Perriman) would barely be on the field? Or the tight end selected in the fifth round and touted as a blocker (Nick Boyle) would make far more plays in the passing game than the tight end taken in the second round (Maxx Williams)?
It's training camp, so not worth drawing too many conclusions but it's interesting how things have played out so far.
Tucker booms one
Justin Tucker hasn't been as consistent this training camp than he has been in past ones – and no, I wouldn't be concerned – but he hit a field-goal in yesterday's practice from what appeared to be 63 yards that probably would have been good from about 68. The ball was just hammered. Very impressive.
He's caught balls underneath, he's caught deep passes, he's drawn pass interference penalties. Nobody on the Ravens has been able to match up. If Matthews stays healthy, I'd be shocked if he didn't have a big year.