Do­ing his job

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

Bal­ti­more Ravens quar­ter­back Ryan Mal­lett (above) qui­etly has gone about his busi­ness de­spite out­side dis­trac­tions through­out train­ing camp. The seven-year veteran has been un­der scru­tiny run­ning the first-team of­fense with starter Joe Flacco side­lined with a back in­jury. Mal­lett (Arkansas Ra­zor­backs) has re­mained un­daunted. He will be the starter Thurs­day in Bal­ti­more’s first pre­sea­son game.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Bal­ti­more Ravens quar­ter­back Ryan Mal­lett ( Arkansas Ra­zor­backs) qui­etly has gone about his busi­ness de­spite out­side dis­trac­tions through­out train­ing camp.

The seven-year veteran has been un­der scru­tiny run­ning the first-team of­fense with starter Joe Flacco side­lined with a back in­jury.

The Ravens have dis­cussed sign­ing Colin Kaeper­nick, who gained wide­spread at­ten­tion last year for his de­ci­sion to not stand dur­ing the na­tional an­them to protest po­lice bru­tal­ity and racial in­jus­tice.

Mal­lett, 29, has re­mained un­daunted. He will get to show­case his skills as the starter in Bal­ti­more’s first pre­sea­son game Thurs­day against the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins.

“I have tun­nel vi­sion,” Mal­lett said. “I’m not re­ally wor­ried about what’s go­ing on out­side this build­ing.”

Mal­lett has ex­pe­ri­enced mixed re­sults atop the depth chart. Some days, he throws mul­ti­ple in­ter­cep­tions, and on others, he shows a big­time arm that jus­ti­fies the Ravens’ con­fi­dence in him.

Bal­ti­more Coach John Har­baugh even jok­ingly chas­tised the me­dia for its cov­er­age of him.

“I think Ryan has played well,” Har­baugh said. “He has a re­ally not good day, and I saw a lot of sto­ries about that. I see he’s hav­ing some pretty good days, and I haven’t seen any sto­ries about that. What’s up with that?

“But no, I think he’s do­ing a good job, and he’s had some good days.”

Mal­lett signed with Bal­ti­more in De­cem­ber 2015 af­ter Flacco went down with a sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury. Mal­lett started the fi­nal two games and led the team to a 20-17 vic­tory over Pitts­burgh.

Over­all, he has ap­peared in six games for the Ravens and has com­pleted 59.2 per­cent of his passes for 592 yards with 2 touch­downs and 3 in­ter­cep­tions. De­spite the lim­ited reps, Mal­lett re- signed with Bal­ti­more in March for a one-year, $2 mil­lion deal.

He prides him­self on be­ing ready when his num­ber is called.

“I al­ways pre­pare as if I was start­ing,” Mal­lett said. “That’s the only way you can do it and try to be suc­cess­ful, any­way. So, every week I pre­pare like the starter just in case.”

Mean­while, there doesn’t ap­pear to be a time­line for Flacco to re­turn to prac­tice. Orig­i­nally, he was only ex­pected to miss the first week of camp. Har­baugh does not ap­pear overly con­cerned about the lack of prac­tice time for the 10-year quar­ter­back.

“As a coach, you want to get him in as soon as you can,” Har­baugh said. “That’s the bot­tom line. I want him here yes­ter­day. I want him here a week ago. I wanted him here the first day.

“As soon as he is ready to go, we’ll go to work and get him ready. Joe knows the of­fense, but still there’s a rhythm and tim­ing and ex­e­cu­tion. Re­ally, prac­tice is valu­able for him. The sooner the bet­ter, but not be­fore he’s ready.”

Now, it is up to Mal­lett to show he is fully ca­pa­ble of be­ing a starter.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity for Ryan to get ready,” Har­baugh said. “Those reps are re­ally huge for a quar­ter­back. He wants to make the most of all those reps with the” first­team of­fense.

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

AP/PATRICK SEMANSKY

Former Arkansas quar­ter­back Ryan Mal­lett will get the start for Bal­ti­more in its pre­sea­son opener Thurs­day. Mal­lett gets the nod be­cause of Joe Flacco’s back in­jury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.