If the Ravens' plan for inserting their backup quarterbacks plays out as it has in training camp and according to the depth chart, Tyrod Taylor will likely get the first opportunity to succeed starter Joe Flacco in the team's preseason opener at the Atlanta Falcons.
To observers, that could be construed as an indicator of the state of the competition between Taylor, the organization's sixth-round pick in last year's NFL draft, and Curtis Painter for the right to back up Flacco. But that's not the approach that Taylor is taking.
"We're all making each other better," he said. "Of course, it's a battle. It's a battle every day between everybody on this team. But we're striving to get better ourselves and to challenge each other to get better because in that way, we get better as a team."
So far, Taylor has looked more impressive than Painter. Taylor's arm appears stronger, he has been decisive in his reads and throws, and he has a familiarity with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's playbook.
Should both quarterbacks get into the game, their play will be closely scrutinized by quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, who said he is looking for certain benchmarks from Taylor.
"He hasn't had a whole lot of snaps obviously. So I think this preseason, he's going to get quite a few," Caldwell said. "He also is becoming a lot more comfortable with the system, and you can just see him growing by leaps and bounds. Today, he had a pretty good day out there throwing the ball, and we've seen that pretty much every day. So it's just been a steady climb for him. The more reps he gets, the better I think he's going to be – [but] certainly not perfect. And obviously he has some things that you just can't teach in terms of his ability to escape and run and make plays outside of the pocket."
Taylor said he hasn't been informed by the coaches about how much playing time he will get Thursday night. And as much as he understands the significance of statistics, Taylor said his eyes are trained on other aspects of his game.
"Of course, you want to put up good tape with stats and everything, but as a quarterback, you have to get the ball to the guys that are open," he said. "I'm not aiming for a certain number. I'm going to play the game and let the game come to me and just go out there and be myself."