Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Friday, November 19, 2010

Panthers to start journeyman QB St. Pierre

OWINGS MILLS – Remember, Brian St. Pierre?

He’s the journeyman quarterback who spent a season with the Baltimore Ravens five years ago.

He’s the obscure guy who was spending his time as a stay-at-home dad until joining the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad on Friday last week and was promoted to the active roster Tuesday.

And St. Pierre, a former Pittsburgh Steelers fifth-round draft pick who has only thrown five regular-season passes, is the surprise starter for the Panthers on Sunday against the Ravens.

Instead of going with unheralded rookie quarterback Tony Pike with starter Jimmy Clausen out with a concussion, Panthers coach John Fox chose to go with St. Pierre, 30, because of his slightly superior experience.

“Great guy, great quarterback,” tight end Todd Heap said. “We’ve seen him play over the years. He’s a guy that we kind of know what he’s capable of. We’ve seen what he can do, his arm strength.

“He’s a smart guy, we know that about him. Our defense hopefully will be ready for that, and a lot of guys on that side of the ball know Brian St. Pierre and know what type of quarterback he is.”

Nose guard Kelly Gregg also spoke highly of St. Pierre, who has completed 2 of 5 career passes for 12 yards, one touchdown and one interception during previous stints with the Arizona Cardinals and Steelers.

“He’s a good guy and a good quarterback,” Gregg said. “He’s a tough guy and he’ll be ready to go out there on Sunday.”

Strong safety Dawan Landry said he doesn’t remember much about St. Pierre.

St. Pierre will have just four practices to get ready for the Ravens.

“At least he’s been around the league,” Landry said. “You can’t take anybody lightly, not at all. He’s a veteran guy. We’ll prepare the same way we always prepare.

“He just got there this week, too? Wow. At least he’s a veteran guy. He just got there, so hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

St. Pierre didn’t go through a training camp this summer.

Now, he’s quarterbacking the 1-8 Panthers against the NFL’s 10th-ranked defense.

"I know what the situation looks like to everyone," St. Pierre told Charlotte reporters. "It is what it is. I'm not going to complain about it."

Three years ago, the Panthers started a 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde and managed to win a game.

"John Fox came in to me on Wednesday and said, 'Vinny Testaverde came in and did this three years ago," St. Pierre said. "And I said, 'Well, Vinny has a little better resume than I do.'

"I appreciate they have enough faith to throw me out there. I hope I can reward them by holding my own Sunday."

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