More times than not since arriving in Baltimore, Ravens coach Brian Billick has been verbose when it comes to answering all-important questions. Sometimes, it seems as if he thinks the listeners, be they media or fans, will get so lost in the answer that they’ll forget the question.
So Billick gets major props by avoiding a potential quarterback controversy heading into next Sunday’s game at Buffalo by practically disqualifying the injured Steve McNair as the starting signal-caller and annointing Kyle Boller, who is 2-0 when starting in relief of McNair, as the quarterback against the Bills.
Billick’s response when asked if McNair, who was troubled by a groin problem before back spasms forced him out of two practices and eventually Sunday’s 22-3 win over St. Louis, would start in Buffalo: "It’s unlikely."
That gives Boller a week with the first team to prepare. No worries about what his role is. No endless days of speculation about McNair’s status. No charges that Billick is using the media to mask his true intentions, just to keep the Bills from knowing what his plans are (unless, of course, McNair trots out during the first series next week). Just the uninterrupted opportunity for Boller to get ready, knowing what is expected from him and the chance to deliver.
Good move. Yes, Boller was playing behind a makeshift offenisve line decimated by injuries. Sure, he made a couple of errors in judgment against the Rams, but every QB does in every game. Granted, it would be nice to see him stretch the field, but he needs more protection time (and for receivers to get separation from coverage and then hang onto catchable balls) in order to do that. But as insurance policies go, the much-maligned Boller has paid handsome dividends for the 4-2 Ravens.