Saturday, May 26, 2007

Drew Olson - Week 7

Before getting to this weeks game against the Cologne Centurions, the AP put together a nice little article about Drew's time in Amsterdam. Drew faces an uphill battle when he gets back to Baltimore this fall. He'll have to compete with Troy Smith, the Heisman trophy winner from Ohio State, who the Ravens picked up in this year's draft.

"I've been watching what Drew's been doing in Amsterdam," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We think the time in Europe is going to serve him very well, and hopefully when he comes back we'll have a chance to see how it translates into what we're doing here."

Former UCLA quarterback, and current Ravens QB coach and Offensive Coordinator, Rick Neuheisel had this to say about Drew. "It's not all pretty with Drew. He's kind of a throwback to Billy Kilmer. His ball doesn't always spiral and it isn't always going to be gorgeous. But he's a winner, which is why we encouraged him to go to Europe - to prove once again that's what he is."

The coaches say there will be a competition for the backup spot on the roster, but I have a hard time believing they would cut their recent draft pick in favor of a free-agent who just spent time in the "minor" leagues of NFL Europa. If Drew doesn't make it at Baltimore, he may be able to find a spot on another team. Smart accurate quarterbacks are always good to have around. Drew is keeping a positive outlook and his latest blog entry is pretty upbeat about the whole thing.

Anyways, back to this weeks game. The Admirals got absolutely crushed by Cologne, scoring their only points in the 4th quarter after the outcome was no longer in doubt. Cologne has one of the best defenses in NFL Europa and they completely stifled Olson's offense.

Drew connected on 16 of 38 passes for 196 yards and 1 touchdown. Not a good effort, but the majority of the blame fell at the feet of his offensive line. The Admirals frequently used this weird spread formation with large splits between the big guys up front. They couldn't hang with Cologne's athletic defensive front and Drew was constantly under pressure. They had negative yards in the first quarter and it didn't get much better from there. Drew didn't complete his first pass until almost 4 minutes left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Olson threw a lateral on a poorly-executed swing pass that ended up going over the running backs head and the ball was recovered by Centurion players deep in Amsterdam territory. He was fortunate that it only ended up in a field goal. Even when Drew was able to connect with his receivers, they would not get many yards or would turn the ball over on a fumble. He struggled with accuracy on longer routes and as Amsterdam fell further behind, the worse his attempts became. It was an all around ugly game.

It doesn't look like the Admirals are going to make the World Bowl game this year. So that means Drew only has three more weeks left in his season with Amsterdam. Next week he takes on the Rhein Fire.