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Tyrod Taylor Impressing In Training Camp


Joe Flacco has never missed a start (knock on wood) in his five NFL seasons.

He came closer than the Ravens would have liked last year after suffering a knee injury in Week 15 in Detroit. Flacco limped through the final two games, as did the offense.

This year, however, the Ravens may be better prepared than in the past if Flacco were to get hurt.

Backup Tyrod Taylor likes new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's offense, as it suits his skillset well. The results are showing on the field, as Taylor has opened some eyes with his play under center.

"I've been very impressed," Kubiak said.

"Ty really bought into what we're doing; he's working extremely hard. The thing I love about Ty, I know his goal is to be a starter in this league and that's what you want as a coach. So he's very competitive, pushes Joe every day, doing a great job."

Head Coach John Harbaugh split up his team during Monday's practice at M&T Bank Stadium. There was Team Tyrod and Team Flacco, with the second- and first-team offenses squaring off in an 11-on-11 scrimmage. Team Tyrod won.

Of course that's only one practice, and Flacco is entrenched as the starter. But it's a good sign of how far Taylor has come since being a sixth-round pick in 2011.

Taylor has had limited playing time since then. He's played in 13 regular-season games (no starts) and attempted just 35 passes with 19 completions. He's thrown for 199 yards and two interceptions.

"You definitely don't know it all. I haven't played enough to know it all," Taylor said. "But things start to slow down. You start to see things you didn't see earlier on in your career."

What's helping Taylor in part is Kubiak's new offense. Taylor isn't the traditional drop-back passer. He's not like Flacco, who can stand in the pocket at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds. One of Taylor's best attributes is his legs.

Kubiak's offense puts Taylor more on the move with bootlegs and other play-action plays.

Taylor is good at throwing on the move and has plenty of arm strength to do so, another thing Kubiak said he was impressed by. Moving outside also allows him more room to possibly take off running himself. Taylor has 23 career rushing attempts for 139 yards, an average of six yards per carry.

"It definitely benefits my game," Taylor said of the new offensive system. "It does things that I like to do, as far as getting on the move and keeping the defense unbalanced. You keep them on their toes."

Taylor's heading into the final year of his contract and the Ravens drafted his possible successor in the sixth round with Keith Wenning. This is Taylor's chance to prove he can be a starter elsewhere, and he'll likely have to do that in the upcoming preseason.

"I've always approached my job as to come in and prepare like a starter," Taylor said. "In this league, you never know what can happen. When I'm out on the field, I'm the guy. That's how my mindset has always been."

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