Billick says he backs Boller

Coach clarifies stance, says QB will regain job if he's healed in 2-3 weeks

September 16, 2005|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

Kyle Boller will regain his starting quarterback job from Anthony Wright if he recovers from a toe injury over the next few weeks, coach Brian Billick said yesterday.

A day after deflecting questions about whether Boller would return as the starter, Billick opened his media session by repeatedly stressing that the organization has not lost faith in the embattled three-year starter.

"If Kyle is able to return in the two- to three-week prognosis that we currently have, he will be our starting quarterback," Billick said. "If the way I responded [Wednesday] led to speculation that we did not have the faith in Kyle, that our faith is wavering, that was not my intent."

Billick acknowledged that it's possible that Boller's prognosis could turn into "five, six, seven or eight" weeks.

If it takes that long for Boller to come back, Billick declined to speculate whether Boller would regain his job when healthy or whether Wright can earn the job by playing well.

"It's one of those questions I can't answer specifically because I don't have the facts," Billick said.

Billick made the point that Wright remained the starter in 2003 because it took so long for Boller to recover from a leg injury. The Ravens then handed the starting job back to Boller after the season.

So, if the same scenario occurred this year - Wright finishing out the season because of Boller's injury - would Boller once again return as the Ravens' starter next season?

"We're awful early in the season ... [so] I couldn't begin to answer that question," Billick said. "I hope no one will want to conjecture that we have a lack of faith in Kyle because we haven't named him the starter for the 2006 season.

"[The organization] is in a constant evaluation mode, and to a man, we are firm and resolute in our opinion and confidence that Kyle Boller is the quarterback we believe him to be and the quarterback of the future, and now, of the Baltimore Ravens."

In addition to hyperextending his right big toe, Boller said he also injured his ankle in the season opener. His goal is to return in three weeks.

"I can't push off it right now," said Boller, who is still wearing a protective boot on his right foot. "It's one of those things that's real sensitive. I'm going to have to play it by ear."

Boller admitted to having heard the cheers from the hometown crowd when he was on the ground writhing in pain.

"I'd be lying if I said that it didn't make me feel that good," Boller said. "I'll continue to say it, I think the fans of Baltimore are great. I know there are people that are supporting me and pulling for me. So those people that cheered, they can do that if they want. They have the right to do it. But I've given 110 percent, and I've worked hard, and I'll continue to work hard."

Next for Ravens

Matchup: Ravens (0-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-1)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio: Ch. 13/1300 AM, 102.7 FM

Line: Ravens by 3 1/2

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