Q&A with Mike Preston

Q&A with Mike Preston

Sun columnist discusses the Ravens' loss to the Broncos

ravens/football

December 14, 2005|By BALTIMORESUN.COM STAFF

Chris, Owings Mills: This team is absolutely ridiculous. Check the tape. Right before Boller threw the interception at the end of the first half you could see Billick yelling to him "We're in field goal range." Is that the mentality of this coaching staff? I understand not wanting to make a mistake, but did you happen to catch Billick on "Wired?" Every time they got inside the 30, Billick would tell Fassel to "Be careful, we're in field goal range." I'm sick of this offense. It's painfully obvious that we play for 3 points on every possession.

Billick needs to go and this team needs to go in a new direction.

Also, can you tell me why we should go for it on 4th and goal with more than 6 minutes to go in a 9-point game? Somebody needs to explain that to me. That's a call that should cost Billick his job.

Mike Preston: Whoa, where are all the comments about giving props to Kyle Boller about his comeback against Houston? Come out, come out where ever you are. I was expecting a barrage. Who Da Man? Kyle Da Man.

As for watching Billick on "Wired," you're kidding. Billick is always wired. Once I put the final period at the end of column, the last thing I want to do is watch anymore Billick, live or censored. As for this offense, you can't beat on it anymore. They can only run fade patterns inside the red zone. They don't scheme to set things up or take advantage of other teams' weaknesses. The whole offensive system is fraudulent. Can it. Kill it. Blow it up. Whatever.

The fourth and goal call was horrible, and it indicted both the coach and the quarterback. Only last week, I wrote Billick's decision making costs this team two or three games a year. Hello. Case closed. Now, if he had any faith in Boller, he would have kicked a field goal because he had 9:54 seconds left in the game, plenty of time to score a touchdown.

As for whether the team needs to retain or fire Billick, I don't care anymore. If you've stomached this act for seven years, what's another? Close your eyes, clap your heels, and maybe this season will go away.

Jeff, Harrisburg, Pa.: Mike, I think that Fassel just sealed Billick's fate with that 3rd-and-goal call. That was a true indictment of our offensive line. Third-and-1 in 4-down territory. Two plays to get one yard. Also, I'd like to steal a line from Clark Griswold about Cousin Eddie, but it applies to Boller, "My quarterback here, whose heart is bigger than his brain..."

Mike Preston: Yeah, Boller is not that bright of a guy when it comes to football. He has some physical attributes, but the mental game is lacking. It's amusing hearing Billick talking about bringing in a sports psychologist. Talk about throwing someone under the bus. Beep. Beep. Here's Greyhound. I like Boller personally because he's a nice person. But if Billick makes that statement in New York, the kid gets crucified in the newspapers the next morning. He's going to get it nationally as well. Billick should have kept that private. If Boller didn't need a shrink before he came to the Ravens, he's going to need one now. He was thrown into the ocean before he learned how to swim. It's probably to his advantage to get a fresh start elsewhere, but the statement about the psychologists from Billick pretty much hung the kid. It looks like the coach is trying to separate himself from Boller, but it's too late. Boller was his guy. He should have been tougher on Boller earlier instead of waiting until now to strongly criticize him.

Chris, Scotia, N.Y.: A fair catch last week on a kickoff, and now just faking an onside kick with less than 2:00 in the game, trailing by 2. I'm no Frank Beamer, but why the struggle on special teams? Aren't these pretty elementary football decisions?

Mike Preston: The Ravens blew the fair catch call against Houston two weeks ago. The coaching staff should have communicated better with returner B.J. Sams, and Sams should have had better instincts in that situation. But I thought the on side kick against the Broncos was a good idea, and it kept Denver pinned down. Now, if the Ravens defense had stepped up a little, especially All-World safety Ed Reed who missed that tackle on the end around late in the game.

Mike, Baltimore: Mike, I love reading you every week!! I am on your side B & B need to go now!! Let Fassel coach out the last few games, can't be any worse. My question is has the equiptment manager checked Boller's shoes? He seems to trip over his own feet every game. Is there a stat on this? Sure he must lead the league in something?

Mike Preston: He's clumsy and awkward. But someone has to take the blame, so let's put it on equipment manager Ed Carroll. Fire him immediately. If Boller had another inch on his spikes, he wouldn't be tripping over the line markers so much. Boller has been analyzed from the bottom of his shoes to the tip of his head.

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