BaltimoreRavens Conference Call
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on opening up the regular season) 9/7/05
"It's time. We've had a good preseason, but it's (been) five, six weeks now. You can tell it's time to crank this thing up."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on playing the Colts on a national game to open up the season) 9/7/05
"That's the match-up they wanted. I know our fans are excited about it. Our players are excited about it. Everybody asks the question, 'Would you really have preferred not to start with an opponent the caliber of Indianapolis?' Why not? If that can't jump-start you…there's no ambiguity, no chance of players underestimating an opponent, or not going into the season at just the right mentality when you have a team like Indianapoliscoming in."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on if the team's success relies on QB-Kyle Boller, or if it is still RB-Jamal Lewis' offense) 9/7/05
"We're going to stick true to the assets we have. We're not ever going to get too far away, as long as we play good defense and we run the ball effectively. That wouldn't be prudent. Clearly, we have to throw the ball better, but I don't know that the pressure on Kyle is any different than any other quarterback. As great as Peyton (Manning) is playing, doesn't Peyton have to carry his offense to a degree? Doesn't he carry around the burden of now taking that next step. Doesn't Daunte Culpepper have to show now he can play without a Randy Moss. Brett Favre of all people, doesn't he have to show he still has it at this point in his career. Doesn't a Drew Brees have to come back and show he can follow it up. There's always something for a quarterback to prove, so-to-speak. So, I don't' think that's any different than any other team. Clearly, Kyle has to play well for us. And he did very well the last eight games of the season last year. Kyle threw 10 touchdowns and five interceptions the last half of the season. Our inability to make the playoffs last year on a 9-7 team the last half of the season was not because of Kyle Boller."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on if RB-Jamal Lewis is back full-speed) 9/7/05
"Yes, he is. The fact that his camp has been such, whether he's ready to be a 30-to-35 carry (back) this week or next week, that remains to be seen. Fortunately, Chester Taylor is playing very well for us. Todd Heap's in the same boat. They're healthy, they're ready to go, but they've not had a complete training camp and a complete preseason, so I have to factor that in."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on DE-Dwight Freeney's game last year vs. Baltimore) 9/7/05
"A tremendous player in Dwight Freeney, playing at the top of his game, and as a dynamic presence on the outside rush as there is in the game. Jonathan Ogden, compared to the games we're used to Jonathan having, yes, it was, I think it was an aberration. Take nothing away from Dwight Freeney. He earned every bit of it. On that surface, in that stadium, with that noise, that puts a lot of pressure on a tackle. But Jonathan is one of the great ones. He understands that, he's very motivated. Hopefully at home, on our surface, and with our crowd, will help make a difference."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on what DT-Corey Simon adds to the Colts defense) 9/7/05
"A huge presence inside, that a lot of teams are always looking for. And he's a dynamic player and will be a huge asset for them inside."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on RB-Jamal Lewis being more focused this year) 9/7/05
"You can only imagine, if you can put yourself in that circumstance, carrying around in the back of your mind, over the last two, three, four years, the consequences and the potential consequences of where Jamal found himself. No matter how disciplined of an individual you are, that has to be part of your psyche. But it existed when he had the 2,000-yard rushing year in 2003. And now that that is totally behind, and it is totally behind him, it would only make sense that Jamal's mind is now truly free to be focused on his job."
HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK (on if he can imagine there being a 'next level' for QB-Peyton Manning in this offense) 9/7/05
"I think Peyton's the most dominant offensive player in the game with what he does and how he does it, how it's orchestrated around him, and he's proven it time and time again."
RB-JAMAL LEWIS (on what kind of shape he's in) 9/7/05
"I'm 100 percent, ready to go. The ankle is feeling good, spirit is good. Everything is intact, ready to go."
RB-JAMAL LEWIS (on with the pressure on QB-Kyle Boller, if he is ready to carry the team) 9/7/05
"It's been like that over the last (five) years, since I've been here. So, I have to play my role. That's all I can do, play my role and try to run the football to open things up for Kyle Boller so we can get things going."
RB-JAMAL LEWIS (on if he thinks some people have forgotten he is still one of the best RBs in the league) 9/7/05
"I don't think they have forgotten. I think they know what type of running back I am. I have to go out there and put my hard-hat on and play like I know I can play, which I've done every season. Last year, being hurt and being suspended, and coming back and still going over the 1,000-yard mark, I think that says a lot about the type of player I am."