Ryan’s Hope-less

It’s a bad year to need a quarterback.


This whole draft lacks in star power.  Only Darren McFadden from Arkansas has the highlight reel to make us all a twitter.  The problem with D-Mac, he’s already made NFL Security services all a twitter with his nightclub fights and possible paternity problems.


There are no superstar quarterbacks. 


There is Matt Ryan.




Like I said, no superstar qb’s, but Ryan owns the only top 10 potential.  He has the size and the arm.  He played in a major conference (but the ACC isn’t quite as major as we thought is it?).  And his greatest asset on the pro side of the ledger comes from his brain.  The kid is flat out smart.  GM’s compare his preparation for interviews and workouts to that of Peyton Manning.  One team official saying he felt like Ryan interviewed him, not the other way around.


The con side though offers a pretty good case.  Ryan makes Kerry Collins look like a mobile quarterback.  Eminem had it wrong,  this ain’t a turtle race.  But what disturbs me most about Ryan, the lack of coming through in the clutch. 


The stars aligned perfectly in 2007 for Boston College to battle for the National Championship.  The Eagles started the season 8-0, much of that thanks to Ryan.  But with four games left in the regular season, none of them against ranked teams, BC lost two of them.  First to a Florida State team, at home in which Ryan completed less than 50 percent of his passes and had 3 picks.  Then at Maryland, he came up short again.  Two interceptions and sacked four times are not the kind of numbers that scream “I am your franchise”. 


I know if you look hard enough you can find stats to back up criticisms of anyone.  But I just don’t get the feel that he’s a big time, must have player.  And if you take him at number eight, or (gasp!) move up to get Ryan, the investment price is just too high.


Solutions then genius?  Fair question, and unfortunately for the Ravens there don’t appear to be any simple answers.  Nothing close to a sure thing in the draft, nothing steady left in the free agent pool, and the current roster since the retirement of Steve McNair.. umm, well, there wouldn’t be four paragraphs on Matt Ryan if the solution resides in Baltimore.


The Ravens most clear path back to the playoffs is a familiar one.  Win with defense, and don’t turn the ball over.  It can work.  The blue print lives in the Owings Mills Castle and the talent remains on staff.   But long term success requires a leader behind center and the search for that steady hand has no end in sight.



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