Boller poised to be named the starter this weekend

OWINGS MILLS - The Baltimore Ravens have invested a lot in rookie quarterback Kyle Boller in terms of compensation and draft picks. Now, the Ravens are looking for immediate dividends as they appear poised to announce today (Saturday) that the first-round draft pick has gained the starting job.

Ravens coach Brian Billick said the issue will be resolved today (Saturday) about who will open the season on Sept. 7 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In a 30-24 loss to the New York Giants on Thursday, Boller did nothing to erase the perception that he has supplanted incumbent Chris Redman. Boller started again and completed 7-of-9 passes for 99 yards, two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 152.1. Redman completed only one of six passes for 11 yards and a 39.6 rating.

Asked if he felt he had done everything possible to cement his burgeoning status, Boller said: "I do. I'm not a guy who looks back on anything. I try to prepare the best I can. I'm going to continue to do that regardless of what happens."

It was something of a whirlwind progression for the former Cal quarterback whom Baltimore traded a first-round pick and a second-round pick to acquire. Boller missed the first week of training camp as a contract holdout. After agreeing to a five-year deal worth up to $20 million, he had to catch up fast. "You're not young for long," Boller said. "I had to mature and be a man about it."

MIXED BAG: After fumbling a punt away in his preseason debut from a knee injury, return specialist Lamont Brightful had returns of 16 and 19 yards on Thursday. Overall, though, the special teams were a mess and contributed heavily to Baltimore squandering a 17-0 lead.

The other bright spot after Brightful was safety Ed Reed forcing Giants fullback Jim Finn to hold him twice to avoid blocked punts. Reed blocked two punts as a rookie last year.

QUICK HITS: Reserve quarterback Anthony Wright scrambled around for 44 rushing yards along with a touchdown to tight end Lamar Hill, a converted basketball player.

… Linebacker Terrell Suggs didn't record a sack or a tackle, but the first-round pick nearly intercepted a pass. He leapt in the air to deflect Jason Garrett's pass, but bobbled the football away.

Bart Scott led the Ravens with seven tackles. Fellow linebacker Johnny Rutledge had five tackles and caused Ron Dayne to fumble.

... The defense surrendered just a dozen yards in forcing three Giants punts to open the game.

… Offensive tackle Ethan Brooks has a bad case of offsides. He jumped again against the Giants and has been prone to penalties all month.

INJURY UPDATE: Randy Hymes is out for the season after reportedly rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament. Fullback Harold Morrow (forearm contusion) and guard Jim Jones (sprained knee) ard center Casey Rabach (sprained knee, ankle are the other new injuries.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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