Media portrayal of Jets is written off by Billick

Ravens coach doesn't like N.Y. being cast in negative light

September 30, 2005|By JAMISON HENSLEY | JAMISON HENSLEY,SUN REPORTER

Ravens coach Brian Billick has grown tired of media reports portraying the New York Jets as a team in crisis.

Before taking any questions yesterday, he opened his session with the media by saying, "Tomorrow, we're going to take up a donation for the New York Jets' relief fund. Because based on what I'm reading and hearing, I can't imagine these guys showing up. Good lord, I can't turn on the TV without seeing [hurricanes] Katrina, Rita, and oh my God, the Jets. I'm digging in my pockets for money."

The Jets are expected to play the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday without their top two quarterbacks (Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler), a starting outside linebacker (Eric Barton) and possibly their best offensive tackle (Jason Fabini).

Former third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger will make his first NFL start. That led the New York Post to call the Jets "the undisputed champions of the league in quarterback calamity."

Billick said his comments were a response to the media writing off the Jets and were not intended to disrespect the team.

"I know the Jets aren't thinking that way," Billick said. "[Running back] Curtis Martin is going to show up. [Center] Kevin Mawae is going to be there. [Cornerback] Ty Law is going to be there."

Asked if the circumstances - which include the Ravens being a seven-point favorite - could cause this to become a trap game for them, Billick said, "Only if we let it. Only if we believe what we read and see. I know the Jets aren't feeling sorry for themselves. I know the resolve that team has. That's a good football team."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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