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Tyrod Taylor, Curtis Painter battle should intensify

As a rookie sixth-round draft pick, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor easily beat out Hunter Cantwell for the top backup job in 2011. This offseason, Taylor will face stiffer competition for the No. 2 role, with the Ravens bringing in Curtis Painter, another former sixth-round pick who started eight games for the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Taylor, who had one carry for two yards, completed an 18-yard pass and was sacked twice in a handful of snaps as a rookie, is embracing what's become a friendly competition, Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.

"There's always going to be competition, and I think that's how you step up your play," Taylor said during the team's June minicamp. "Both of us are competing, and by working together, we're getting better."

"He was eager to learn, and we're learning from each other," Taylor added. "He's started for a team in the National Football League, and he's played around some great guys. A lot of the stuff we run here is some of the stuff that has carried over from there, and we're learning from each other. He's a great teammate, and it's always competition. Nothing's set in stone, and I think that makes the quarterback play better."

As Lee notes, Flacco has been a very durable quarterback during his four seasons in the NFL. In addition to not missing a start, Flacco has rarely missed a snap. According to official playing-time documents, Flacco has missed 45 of a possible 4,284 regular season snaps over his four-year career, but just three of 2,135 snaps over the past two seasons. Flacco's durability allowed the Ravens to go through the 2011 season with just two quarterbacks, which means competition between Taylor and Painter should intensify in the preseason as they fight over what could be just one spot on the 53-man roster.

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