In a move that no Ravens fan or blogger that I know saw coming, the team today signed veteran quarterback Marc Bulger.
Bulger, 33, has spent the entirety of his nine-year NFL career with the St. Louis Rams. His best seasons were 2004-2006, when he threw 59 touchdowns to just 31 interceptions, and had quarterback ratings of 93.7, 94.4, and 92.9. Lately he hasn’t been the same player though, as over his last three seasons he has 27 TD to 34 INT, and hasn’t compiled a QB rating over 71.4.
I’ll go ahead and give Bulger the benefit of the doubt for those last few years, because he played FOR THE RAMS. Those St. Louis teams were 3-13, 2-14, and 1-15. All the guy had to work with was Stephen Jackson and an aging Torry Holt. Stepping into Baltimore and being surrounded by weapons like Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Dante Stallworth, and even Derrick Mason, and having a defense that won’t routinely give up 30 points a game could do wonders to resurrect Marc Bulger’s career.
Of course, all of this is a moot point barring an injury to Joe the Quarterback. Bulger is strictly being brought in as an insurance policy, not to compete with the team’s franchise QB in any way.
Other QBs on the roster though, namely John Beck and Troy Smith, who thought they had a chance to earn a backup job going into 2010 are certainly going through some new scenarios in their head tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Troy Smith say something utterly ridiculous here in the next few days (on a Cleveland radio station, no doubt), about how he’s being disrespected or treated unfairly or blah, blah, blah.
I love the move. The 2010 Ravens look to be a very legitimate contender, and we Ravens fans should be able to rest much easier knowing that an injury to Flacco wouldn’t be totally catastrophic – not with a proven NFL QB as his backup. Again, no disrespect intended to Messrs. Beck or Smith, but should a Ravens QB other than No. 5 be asked to do anything other than hold a clipboard this season, I’m glad its going to be Marc Bulger and not one of you two.