Tyler Huntley: 'I Just Love Football' – Sports Illustrated

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Tyler Huntley never lost his confidence even when his name wasn't called during the NFL draft.
He stayed focused and confident.
Eventually, the Ravens signed him and he's taken full advantage of the opportunity. 
He will likely make his second start Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. 
It's been a long road but the future looks promising. 
"The Ravens stayed in contact with me throughout the whole process; even on the first day, third day, we stayed talking," Huntley said. "My agent just kept talking to me. He was like, ‘A couple of teams are going to come to get you here, come get you there.’ Those rounds passed, so then we got down to the seventh round, and Coach ‘Urb’ [quarterbacks coach James Urban] called me, and he was just talking to me. He was like, ‘You’re a great player. It’s a COVID year. We don’t know. That’s what’s happening right now. You just don’t know.’ 
"And we got down to like the last pick; the last team picked their man, and then he [Coach Urban] asked me – he was like, ‘Do you want to be a Raven?’ And I told him … I said, ‘Yes, Coach.’ I can’t say what I …  I said, ‘Yes, Coach,’ though.” 

In a 16-13 win over the Bears in Week 11, Huntley made his first NFL start after Lamar Jackson came down with an illness.  He completed 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards, while adding 40 yards on the ground, Huntley also led a five-play, 72-yard game-winning drive with 1:33 remaining in the fourth quarter to help Baltimore secure its first-ever victory in Chicago.
In a 24-22 loss to Cleveland last week when Jackson was sidelined with a sprained ankle, Huntley pulled the Ravens to within two points with an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews. Safety Chuck Clark then recovered the onside kick to give the Ravens a chance to win the game. However, Cleveland's defense managed a sack and Huntley's pass to rookie Rashod Bateman was short on a fourth-and-6.
Huntley was 27 of 38 for 270 yards with the score. 
With Jackson missing practice all week because of the injury, Huntley looks like he will start against Green Bay. 
“I feel like I don’t prepare any different than any other week; I just got way more reps this week," Huntley said. "Yes, that’s about it. I just got way more reps this week, and I feel like that’ll make it a little bit more comfortable.”
The Ravens are confident Huntley can lead the offense. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman does have slightly different game plans for Huntley and Jackson. 
However, Roman does not have to completely overhaul the playbook, which obviously helps with the preparation.
Huntley is prepared when his number is called. 
“I just love football, and I know the older guys love football a lot because they’ve been around it a long time," Huntley said. "So, I feel like that’s what really … It comes down to we’re playing football at the end of the day, and my goal is to try to put us in the best position to win. So, I guess it answers itself.”
"This is where I’m supposed to be. So, everything happens for a reason – that’s all.”

Covering Ravens for Sports Illustrated 


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