Heading into training camp, Ravens still unsure of starting QB

2007 season recap

Fast fall: The 2006 AFC North champs suffered through a grueling season that saw them endure a nine-game losing streak, a heartbreaking loss to then-undefeated New England and numerous injuries on both sides of the ball. The team finished 5-11, head coach Brian Billick was fired and oft-injured quarterback Steve McNair retired.

Key camp questions

Can coach John Harbaugh rebuild the offense?
New offensive coordinator Cam Cameron will likely employ the West Coast offense, so developing the wide receivers to complement Derrick Mason, fourth in the league with 103 receptions last year, should be a key at training camp. With a healthy Todd Heap at tight end and Willis McGahee and rookie Ray Rice (see Rookie Spotlight) taking care of the ground game, the Ravens just need to find the right guy to distribute the ball ...

Who will take the most reps in the red jersey?
The quarterback competition in Baltimore is wide open, as either sixth-year veteran Kyle Boller, second-year man Troy Smith or rookie Joe Flacco will end up in charge of an offense that ranked as the 10th-worst in the league last year. Neither Boller nor Smith excelled when given the opportunity in 2007, but Cameron's new system may allow one of these QBs to find his comfort zone during training camp.

Can the secondary stay injury-free in 2008?
When healthy, this group is outstanding, but injuries last season forced Baltimore to rethink the plan for its defensive backs in 2008. The Ravens' stellar, but aging cornerback tandem of Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle missed much of last year because of health problems, so the Ravens went shopping for depth, bringing in speedy veteran Fabian Washington. Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed put together a fine season (7 INTs), but free safety Dawan Landry could be pushed by draftees Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura.

Key position battle

Mark Clayton vs. challengers: On the opposite side of the 34-year-old Mason, Mark Clayton, nursing an injured ankle, could be in a training camp fight with Demetrius Williams, who is more of the deep threat receiver the Ravens are looking for. Rookie Marcus Smith and unpolished but speedy return man Yamon Figurs could also make the rotation depending on who wins the QB competition.

Rookie spotlight

RB Ray Rice: With the departure of Musa Smith to the Jets, the former Rutgers star will fill the role of backup to Willis McGahee. The diminutive runner could see more carries if he's able to find a way to slip through seams in an NFL line.

On the spot

Offensive Coodinator Cam Cameron : As an NFL head coach, Cameron's only win came against his new squad. He inherits a team with no established quarterback, and the man that wins the job may be asked to run a no-huddle offense. Will his approach make the Ravens offense flourish or flounder?

Fantasy focus

TE Todd Heap: Heap might have been a disappointment in 2007, but he's still one of the better tight ends in fantasy football. With new coordinator Cam Cameron at the helm of the offense, Heap has a chance to post 70-plus catches this season. He could be a real bargain in drafts.

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