Ravens' remedy: hard work, help at QB

Stewart expected to return, back up Wright

September 14, 2005|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The Ravens are expected to re-sign Kordell Stewart as early as today, multiple team sources said. Stewart will give the Ravens a veteran quarterback to back up Anthony Wright for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.

Stewart spent all of last season, his 10th, with the Ravens but did not take any snaps from center. His biggest contribution came as a substitute punter for Dave Zastudil against the New York Jets when he placed two kicks inside the 10-yard line.

The Ravens drafted Derek Anderson in the sixth round and made no attempt to bring back Stewart, but starter Kyle Boller injured his toe in the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts and will miss at least one game.

With only two healthy quarterbacks on the roster, the Ravens turned to a familiar face in Stewart, who spent eight of his seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and one season with the Chicago Bears.

Stewart spent all day at the Ravens' complex yesterday, where he met with offensive coaches, including new quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel. Neuheisel was also Stewart's coach for a year at Colorado.

Stewart was the top backup to Boller a season ago but struggled during the preseason. Stewart threw three interceptions and led only one touchdown drive, although the Ravens kept him as the No. 2 quarterback even when Wright returned midway through the season from his shoulder surgery.

With no regular-season game footage, Stewart drew little interest on the free-agent market this offseason. Still, with his knowledge of the Ravens' system, he would appear to be a better fit than Tim Couch, Charlie Batch or Jesse Palmer, all of whom remain available. Couch is thought to be the top backup plan if Stewart fails his physical and is not signed.

Stewart owns a 48-34 career record as a starter and has thrown for 14,749 yards over that span.

The Ravens will have to place a player on injured reserve or release a player to put Stewart on the roster.

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