Tyrod Taylor Growing 'Everywhere'


The Ravens put a lot of faith in rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor last year.

The sixth-round draft pick was the lone backup to starter Joe Flacco, putting him one snap away from being under center for a Super Bowl contender.

While ESPN blogger Jamison Hensley gave the Ravens' backup quarterbacks a "confidence rating" of 18 on a scale of 1 to 100, that's not the way those inside the organization see it.

The coaches' faith has become even stronger thus far in organized team activities (OTAs), in which Taylor has looked sharp with his passes and shown off his incredible scrambling ability when needed.

"He's grown everywhere," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday.

"Being a quarterback is complicated – there's a lot to it. He's throwing the ball really well. His fundamentals — all of those guys have really improved their fundamentals. But, [he is] just handling the offense, understanding defenses, something that gets talked about every day."

Taylor echoed Harbaugh's sentiments, saying he's trying to improve his overall game. It includes understanding protections and where the ball should be pushed based on different coverages.

While he said his speed – which left several Ravens defenders in the dust on Wednesday – is something he can always go to, Taylor is focused on continuing to progress in the pocket.

"I'm just grinding away in practices," Taylor said. "I've just got to continue to show coaches that I have the talent that can be used on Sundays and I can be the No. 2 for this team."

Baltimore signed former Indianapolis Colts starter Curtis Painter this offseason, adding more competition for the backup spot.

Last year, the only other quarterback the Ravens carried through training camp was Hunter Cantwell, who ended up being cut out of training camp and signed back to the practice squad. Cantwell had only spent one year on an active roster, in 2009 with Carolina, and never attempted a pass.

Painter is a different story, having started eight games under current Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis.

But Taylor said having Painter over his shoulder doesn't affect him at all.

"It's not different," he said. "I'm always going to prepare myself as if I'm the No. 1 guy. I don't think any quarterback should prepare himself to be a backup."

Even though he won't be the No. 1, the Ravens could still find ways to use Taylor's combination of speed and throwing on Sundays.

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron started toying around with Taylor more near the later part of last season. He scrambled once in Week 13 against Cleveland, turning what looked to be a big loss at the play's outset into a 2-yard gain.

Taylor came in during a blowout in San Diego and completed his only attempt of the season for a gain of 18 yards. He was sacked twice, however.

"I loved it," Taylor said with a smile. "Just being out there in game situations felt really good. It was a different feeling from the preseason."

Harbaugh didn't reveal much, however, when asked whether the team is looking to utilize Taylor's unique scrambling talents this year in Wildcat-like packages.

"We want to utilize everybody's talents to the max. He's no different than anybody else," Harbaugh said. "Tyrod is a very good player. He's getting better every day. He's going to be a valuable part of our team."

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