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Boller wins starting job
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Old 30 Aug 2003, 10:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boller wins starting job

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Rookie Kyle Boller will start at quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens in their season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Boller will be the fifth different quarterback to start a season for the Ravens during their five years under coach Brian Billick, who announced his decision Saturday.

Boller, the 19th overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft, beat out four-year veteran Chris Redman and journeyman Anthony Wright.

Billick acknowledged that starting a rookie at quarterback is not a conventional move for a team with playoff aspirations, but insisted that Boller was simply the best player at the position this summer.

"Kyle has been very impressive. The physical skills are obvious; anyone that's seen the kid -- even in a practice -- can recognize that," Billick said. "But his ability to absorb the offense has been shocking to me, and I've been doing this for a while."

Boller arrived at training camp a week late because of a holdout, but he made up for the lost time by clearly outplaying Redman and Wright. Boller virtually clinched the starting job by going 7-for-9 for 99 yards and two touchdowns Thursday night in the preseason finale against the New York Giants.

Redman, in contrast, was 1-for-6 for 11 yards.

But it wasn't just the numbers that convinced Billick to pick Boller over Redman, who started six games with Baltimore last year before being sidelined by a back injury.

"Kyle's very natural interaction with the players, the energy, the resiliency that this kid has -- there's something special about that," Billick said.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Boller started every game for California last year, throwing for 2,815 yards and 28 touchdowns. There are no guarantees that his success last year will translate to victories for the Ravens, but Billick is willing to take that chance.

Boller is bound to throw interceptions and misread defenses, but the rookie will receive a degree of leniency -- at least at the outset.

"Kyle understands that I'm not going to put this team in jeopardy," Billick said. "As long as he's not making the same errors, over and over again, I'm OK with that."

In other moves, the Ravens placed WR Randy Hymes (knee) on injured reserve, cut DE Riddick Parker and LB Johnny Rutledge, and waived 11 players Saturday.

Those placed on waivers were: DT Nate Bolling, RB Ryan Brewer, LB Chris Brown, WR Todd Devoe, P Derrick Frost, TE Lamar Hill, CB Arabin Justin, WR Marc Lester, WR Chisom Opera, OT Lawrence Smith and TE Mike Solwold.

The team will make two more moves Sunday to get down to the 53-man limit.
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I think this is a good move by the Ravens. They don't have any other QBs, so might as well start your furture. If he stuggles then take him out. No big deal. And beside the Ravens are in 're-building' mode, so not to many people will be on them.
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Old 31 Aug 2003, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not too big on starting a QB his first year, but the Ravens didn't have much of a choice did they. Redman and the other guy did nothing to show their worth, and like Rebel said they are in rebuilding mode. I think it was smart move.
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Old 03 Sep 2003, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They got nothing to lose by going with Boller over Redman. Redman hasn't shown he can run a team. It is a given that he will make a rookie mistake but he has the luxury of a defense(that could be even better than the one they had during their Super Bowl season)that can get the ball back just as quickly as he turned it over. Jamal Lewis has proven he can carry this team with his running so when Boller is struggling they can turn the keys over to Lewis and let him run and run.
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Old 03 Sep 2003, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bolier will fare pretty well this year..he'll make the usual rookie mistakes..but in two years he'll be a star..
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