Notebook: QB Taylor to play most of preseason opener vs. Eagles

Rookie will be under center for up to 21/2 quarters after Flacco completes first 15 minutes

August 09, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Quarterback Joe Flacco is scheduled to play the first quarter of the Ravens' preseason opener at the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. Backups Tyrod Taylor and Hunter Cantwell know how much playing time they will get, too.

Taylor, a rookie from Virginia Tech, is expected to play as much as 21/2 quarters, while Cantwell, a practice-squad player with the Ravens last season, is slated to play the rest of the contest.

"It's just a lot of work for me to go out there, and it's a great opportunity for me to go out there and show what I'm capable of doing," Taylor said after Tuesday's practice at the team's training facility in Owings Mills. "I feel comfortable with everything that we've put in so far. So I'm just looking forward to having fun and going out there and helping the team win."

Taylor, the club's sixth-round pick in April, has gotten the vast majority of snaps with the second offense. Listed at 6 feet 1 and 215 pounds, Taylor has had several passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage and has at times appeared befuddled by the Ravens' defense.

Taylor shrugged off the idea that Ravens fans will watch intently and critically to see whether he is capable of backing up Flacco.

"I put more pressure on myself than anybody else does," Taylor said. "I want to succeed. There's a lot of naysayers, a lot of haters and a lot of doubters that think that I won't do well, but at the end of the day, I answer to myself. I just want to go out there and play well. Like I said, I'm comfortable with everything they put in the offense so far. I'm ready to go out there and play football. It's been a long time since I played in a game situation. So I believe everybody's ready to go out there."

Cantwell said he understands that he is third on the depth chart. But he insisted that he will try to make an impression with the coaching staff when his opportunity arises.

"You always want to play more, but you understand what the situation is," Cantwell said. "You just try to go out there and make the best of it. When I get in, I've got to take it one rep at a time and try to lead this team."

J. Smith unlikely to play Thursday night

Rookie cornerback Jimmy Smith participated in his first full practice Tuesday since June 30, but it wasn't enough to persuade coach John Harbaugh to allow the Ravens' top draft pick to play against the Eagles.

"No, I think we keep him out on Thursday," Harbaugh said after Tuesday's practice, the team's last session open to the media. "He's only had one practice."

Smith tweaked his groin Aug. 1 and sat out the next four days of training camp. He made brief appearances Saturday and Monday, but it appears the team will be cautious with the 27th overall pick.

Cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who is trying to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, sat out his second consecutive practice, and his status for the preseason opener is also unclear.

With Smith's injury and Foxworth's absence, Chris Carr and Lardarius Webb could start at cornerback against the Eagles.

R. Williams finalizes deal with Parmele for No. 34

A day after he expressed reservations about parting with his No. 34 jersey, running back Jalen Parmele agreed to give the number to the newly signed Ricky Williams.

Via his Twitter account (JayParmele), Parmele wrote, "Deal has been made, I'm switching to #33, Rick got his 34."

Parmele, however, vowed to keep the terms of the deal to himself. "Ha don't ask for details, it's undisclosed amount."

Stupar understands significance of No. 86

Newly signed tight end Jonathan Stupar would like Ravens fans to know that he did not request No. 86, the number worn for the previous 10 seasons by fan favorite Todd Heap.

"It's what they gave me," the former Buffalo Bill said Monday. "I had no choice in the matter. I have been getting heckled a little bit by people saying: 'Heap! There's a new Heap out there!' But in the end, it's just a number, and I'm Jonathan Stupar. I'm not Todd Heap."

Stupar's bigger concern is getting a grip on the new terminology used by the offense.

"It's very foreign," he said. "So it's something that I'm going to have to really concentrate on to catch up because I'm behind. That's one thing that I'm really going to have to do."

End zone

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