Billick touched by Dilfer apology

Coach grateful as displaced Super Bowl QB puts `bitterness' behind

Ravens Weekend

October 05, 2007|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Sun Reporter

Ravens coach Brian Billick said yesterday that he is appreciative of quarterback Trent Dilfer's public apology to him.

Dilfer helped lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl title in January 2001 but had repeatedly lashed out at Billick over the years because the Ravens dumped him as the starter before the next season.

On Wednesday, Dilfer said he wanted to make amends for his "bitterness," a sentiment that Billick said was deeply touching.

"It's so appreciated," Billick said. "It's a tough situation and you kind of hoped that we could get to that point."

Dilfer and Billick are expected to talk before the Ravens play the 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday. Dilfer, who is replacing injured Alex Smith, will make his second start against the Ravens since leading them to the Super Bowl.

When the Ravens chose to sign Elvis Grbac instead of Dilfer after the 2000 season, Dilfer became the only quarterback in NFL history to win a Super Bowl and lose his starting job before the next season.

Dilfer had voiced his displeasure with the decision over the years, directing most of his anger toward Billick before apologizing to him Wednesday. Though he still disagrees with the decision, Dilfer is content to blame the Ravens' organization instead of Billick personally.

"It's been one of those things in my career that's been hard personally to deal with because of the disappointments and because of the business side," Billick said. "I've said it a thousand times: `Just business' dehumanizes it. I'm very appreciative of Trent reaching out that way. I'm very much looking forward to visiting him on Sunday."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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