Part of that might be because Harbaugh is never interested in sharing information that he considers “tactical.” Part of it is also because, during Thursday night’s game against the Redskins, ESPN color commentator Ron Jaworski said on-air that Harbaugh was, in fact, “comfortable” with giving Taylor the backup job.
Harbaugh disagreed with that notion.
“I would be confident that he would go in there and play well,” Harbaugh said. “I’m never comfortable. I’m not comfortable with any of it. I know I’m parsing it a little bit, but I hate it when people put words in my mouth; you know that.
“I think he can be the backup quarterback. Is he going to be the backup quarterback? We shall see.”
I’ll admit that Taylor’s numbers this preseason are better than I’d expected they’d be, considering the sixth-round pick didn’t have OTAs or minicamps earlier this summer to help learn the playbook or get more comfortable in the Ravens’ system.
Through three preseason games, the rookie has gone 35-of-57 (61.4 percent) for 392 yards, with one TD and two interceptions, and added nine carries for 95 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Sure, those stats have come against second- and third-string defenses, but he’s also had second- and third-string offensive linemen blocking in front of him, so I say it all balances out.
Taylor has been impressive, but has he done enough to earn the Ravens’ backup quarterback job?
The team would undoubtedly be more confident with a proven veteran as their No. 2 behind Flacco, but there is very little of substance out there on the free market right now. A guy like Kellen Clemens or David Carr might become available following Saturday’s final round of cuts, but would a player of that caliber save the Ravens’ season if Flacco was to go down with a serious injury?
Doubtful. Incredibly doubtful.
One option the Ravens could go with is keep Taylor as the backup, and put a few feelers out to veteran free agents. That way, Taylor could continue to get reps in practice and progress as the season went on, and hopefully, he wouldn’t need to be called upon.
If Flacco was to get injured, the Ravens could then sign one of the free agent signal callers, and have him on board for support.
Let me toss this one to you - are you “comfortable” with giving Taylor the backup quarterback job once Week 1 of the regular season rolls along?
Does Taylor’s athleticism and playmaking ability lead you to believe he could be a strong No. 2, or would you rather the Ravens sign someone with NFL experience and let Taylor learn as the third-stringer?