I caught part of the Ravens-Panthers preseason game last night—which about fulfilled my preseason football quota for the year—and was rewarded with my first glimpse of newly minted Ravens backup Marc Bulger in his purple number-nine jersey.
My first impression: It was an improvement, as little as that's worth. There were times when he looked like the real Marc Bulger, with the impossibly fast release and the accurate, line-drive throws. That was new! All last year he looked like Zombie Marc Bulger, whose only possible recourse as the Rams' O-Line crumbled around him was to hope that the guy tackling him was gentle about it; yesterday he seemed to have a fighting chance.
But he didn't do much with it, at least in game one; he was 5-12 with a fumble, one or two beautiful completions, and a lot of disconnects with his receivers. Troy Smith, the Ravens' incumbent number two, is certainly within his grasp, and I'll be rooting for him. Nobody's career should end like his appeared to in 2009.