Ravens conference calls

Ravens head coach Brian Billick

(on Jeff Tedford quarterbacks) "I think Jeff is an outstanding coach. He understands the fundamentals of the game. He obviously recruits and seeks out a certain type of player like every coach. You have success in a certain area and you try to go out and try to duplicate that with the types of personalities and physical skills. It's an amazing array of quarterbacks that he's had, and he's got the right structure and routine to develop these guys. They all believe in him. He's got a brick in the Kool-Aid. They believe whatever Jeff tells them. He's had an incredible amount of success with them. That success breeds others being drawn to it, and breeds further success.

(on Kyle Boller) "What we have to be very conscious of, and certainly with all the criticism around Kyle Boller, we as an organization and we as a staff in particular have to makes sure that we look at the facts of the situation. He is just now finishing a second season really given the fact that he missed half a season his first year. He had a very solid season last year, and finished off against a very high level of competition in the last eight games. Had very high expectations coming into this year, and then has to sit for eight weeks. So we have to recognize that the growth is going to be at a certain level. We have a lot of faith in Kyle Boller, and I think what he went through in Cincinnati, when it's all said and done, we may look back over an indeterminate amount of time and say 'Yes, that was a watershed moment. He was standing at the abyss, and was either going to fall in or say screw it. I'm either going to throw another interception or I'm going to throw a touchdown. One or the other,' and fought back through it.   

(on if he sees a trend of NFL kickers struggling) "If it is, it's coincidental, and I'm not one to believe much in coincidence. It's like quarterbacks; we went through a rifting out of some pretty great quarterbacks, whether it be the Dan Marinos, the Troy Aikmans, the Steve Youngs, and the Warren Moons. We had a lot of quarterbacks in a very relatively short period of time leave this game. And so the young players that came in to replace them had to go through that growth process. For a while there if you remember a few years back, there seemed to be a void of quarterbacks in the NFL. Well now that voids not quite as big because people have filled into it. That may be the place with kickers. I'll tell you Matt's strength is his experience. What situation has Matt Stover not been in that he hasn't seen before? Kicking the game-winning kick in overtime, being in a Super Bowl, having to make the kick to go to the playoffs or to advance in the playoffs, or whatever. Being on a winning team, being on a losing team, his consistency of experiences kind of takes him through that. There may be a lot of kickers that don't have that breadth of experience and are still learning. And in some instances it just may be diminishing skills. Just like any other position, at some point you just don't have the consistency, the swing, the leg strength, that you had. Some players adapt, some players don't.

(on how he deals with criticism and if he thinks it's fair) "Life's never fair, but this is the NFL. The observations are predictable. They are conventional. I will say this: I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by the people that I am. By that I mean Steve Bisciotti, our owner, Dick Cass, our president and most importantly Ozzie Newsome, our general manager. The relationship we forged over the last seven years, the way we communicate with one another. I am in a unique situation because I am vested and interactive in the total process of everything we do. And I mean everything. So whatever we decide as an organization at the end of the year going forward, I will be a part of that process. And Steve Bisciotti when he came in tore up my existing contract and giving me the contract I'm currently, and the length and terms of which gave me professional and personal security that he did so specifically so he could get an honest, direct line of communication. Not someone that was answering questions hoping to save their job, but was answering questions on what's in the best interests of the organization. To have created that relationship I'm in a very unique situation. I'm very comfortable with my situation and I understand what the NFL is about. But I do believe in that regard I'm in a very unique situation.

(on contributing factors to 3-8 record) "Same as it is for anybody. It has to do with injuries, which you never point to because you don't want to make an excuse. And it's not just a matter of who's hurt, it's when they're hurt. Certainly execution, expectations of a player here or there that don't quite live up to fruition and the way the schedule falls. There are multiple things. And that's exactly what I'm alluding to. You as an organization have to sit down and try to pragmatically, analytically look at what those circumstances are and decided the best way to go forward. And that will be a complete analysis and review beginning with me, then working down through my coaching staff and then on down to the players. It's a long, arduous process. I could guesstimate right now but it would be just that. There are multiple factors as to why half the teams, there's 16 teams right now that are basically out of it. And you're all scratching your heads about how did we find ourselves in this situation, and not a one of them believe they were going to be there at this point of the season. Again, very conventional and very predictable in the NFL that about half the leagues in the team at this given point in the season have to start thinking about where's the life force of where you're at.

(on Ray Lewis being sidelined) "Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are the two last Defensive MVPs of the league. What effect would losing Peyton Manning be to the Indianapolis Colts? You've seen the effect of how you to fight through losing a Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. What would it be to the New England Patriots to lose Tom Brady? It's easier to isolate that on the offensive side because of the nature of that position. It's equally true, particularly given our profile of how we've won games around here, to lose those two individuals. The good news is that you're put in the position where people have to step up to that responsibility. You learn a lot about those people, and you gain as an organization. But it is a tough thing to go through.

(on Jamal Lewis) "I think with Jamal, and that is part of the evaluation we have to do in the off-season, but we've seen this before. When you spend an entire off-season rehabbing as opposed to getting ready for the season it changes how you perform during the season, particularly late in the season. We've been through this before with Jamal. We go to the Super Bowl in 2001 and he blows his knee the very first day of training camp. In 2002, he limped his way through camp, got stronger as the season went and finished the last four or five games in a way that we felt like 'Jamal looks like Jamal now.' And then subsequently in 2003 cranks off the 2,000 yard year. There are certainly similarities that we've seen in terms of what his off-season was about, how he conducted himself in training camp, starting to gear up. Now, a lot of it has to do with the rhythm we've not been able to get him into because of the way our games have gone. We've not been a position where what is familiar to us is to try to get that 30 th or 35th run, we haven't been in that situation. So the lack of ability to be able to get him in a rhythm is certainly a factor as well.

(on Texans) "As I look at the film, and this is the first real look that I've had of the Texans, for some reason I have not seen a lot of them in exchange. That will happen sometimes, and we have not played them since 2002. Obviously I'm only so familiar with them. And I keep expecting to see that 1-10 team. I haven't seen it yet on film. I see some talent out there, I see guys playing hard. I think Dom Capers is doing absolutely everything he can, schematically and emotionally, to get these guys to play. David Carr is athletic and he's got a strong arm. And Andre Johnson is as good looking receiver as we've played so far. The running back is very multi-dimensional. He's a tough running back, good out of the backfield, gets a lot of yardage with the checkdown. The respect I have for Walker and Payne, we've seen them since their Jaguar days, and they're just tremendous. Again, a team dealing with injuries on the back end – linebacker and secondary. It's easy to see why they're in the situation they're in, but there's also a lot of talent on that team. It's certainly not something our players are going to overlook. How can you at 3-8?

Ravens QB Kyle Boller

(On last week's game vs. the Bengals) "I felt a lot more comfortable in the second half.  I just kind of relaxed a little bit.  I had a lot of bad things happen to me in the first half, but I just had to persevere.  I wanted to go out there and try to clean it up in the second half.  My players did a good job of making plays for me and we were able to score a couple points."

(on if he feels he's turned the corner) "Yeah, I've got to use it as a building block.  We needed to do that to get some momentum and get that confidence back."

(on David Carr and if he's kept up with his career) "I have.  Certainly.  I've watched Dave since I was in college.  I know Dave fairly well.  So, yes, I've definitely kept in touch."

(on Jeff Tedford) "He's a very fundamental-type coach.  He really helped me with my fundamentals and my understanding of the offense.  I really understood the offense and what we were trying to accomplish.  He's very involved and he's making sure you're doing the right thing at the right time, all the time."

(on Tedford as an NFL coach) "I think he'd make a great NFL coach.  But I think he loves college, too.  So I don't know when he'd be going to the NFL.  But yeah, he's a phenomenal coach.  He really saved my career and really saved the Cal Bears."

(on Carr displaying 'Tedford qualities') "Yeah, there are similarities.  Dave keeps the ball up there pretty high and that's one of the things Tedford does.  He likes that ball up and wants that quick release.  That's something I kind of shied away from.  In these last couple years, I've kind of lowered my ball a little bit.  But, yeah you can see some similarities."

(on how Tedford has helped him handle criticism) "Yeah, he's the type of guy you can talk to about anything, on and off the field.  There's going to be tough times and these are the times that make you a stronger person and a better player.  Most every quarterback goes through tough times and I think it really helps you out in the future."

(on the Jamal Lewis and on the Texans' defense) "Yeah, Jamal had a good game last week.  We needed that.  I think it was good for him and good for our offense.  This Texans defense is good though, man.  I wouldn't for a second think that they're not…I watched that Jacksonville game, that Cincy game.  Those were all games that this team was in.  Dunta Robinson's a great corner, their linebackers are playing good and they can bring some pressure.  So I see a good defense.  They're playing well."

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