Baltimore Conference Calls

Transcripts of conference calls by Brian Billick and Ed Reed with New York Jets reporters on Wednesday:       

RAVENS HEAD COACH BRIAN BILLICK

On Baltimore's injuries …

We are less than 48 hours from our marking, so we still have to wait and see how it progresses. We'll see how we come out today and how we progress during the week.

On reports the Patriots videotaped Jets signals Sunday …

I don't know that I've ever encountered it. The validity of it wouldn't be for me to comment on. There are many numbers of things that people say, "These guys do this" or "These guys do that," but I don't have any first-hand knowledge of it.

On if he thinks it will taint what Bill Belichick has accomplished with the Patriots …

There's rules in the NFL. You adhere to them, and if not, there is a price to pay. What that has to do with what has gone on in the past, what's real or imagined, that's again not for me to comment on.

On preparing for both Kellen Clemens and Chad Pennington …

Anytime you come up in the quarterback situation it's tough. There is a clear-cut, bright-line difference between the style of play. I don't know that it is that dramatic, but you obviously have to account for the physical skills of the guy that is going to step in. Our defensive guys will look and try to anticipate how the game plan changes if Clemens is the quarterback versus Chad Pennington. It does stretch you a little bit because you have to prepare for both.

On Clemens …

We really liked him. [Head coach] Mike Bellotti does a great job out in Oregon with what they do schematically and the players that step in and what they ask them to do. I remember being very impressed with him. If I'm not mistaken, I think he is one of the athletes we brought in here to Baltimore. We used to bring in 15, 20 guys after the combine for any number of different reasons — maybe medical, or maybe we didn't get a chance to see them at the combine. If I'm not mistaken, he is one that came in. At the combine we spent time with him and enjoyed it. I thought he was very, very good.

On whether he plans to send extra pressure against the Jets offensive line …

Rex Ryan doesn't need much prodding to want to bring pressure. He gets up and is ready to blitz. I'll leave it to Rex to decide what is the best way to approach it. You have to be careful to not draw too many conclusions from a single game. You have to look at what was going on schematically, and obviously once they got behind that's not an envious position to be in because you can turn your defense loose. I'll leave it to Rex to figure out what he needs to do to get after the Jets.

On whether Clemens brings more of a vertical passing attack to the Jets offense …

He has a very strong arm and the Jets have great speed, so that is certainly something you're going to have to account for. That combination of what they may do can be lethal if you are not on top of it.

On whether he sees similarities between Jets LB Jonathan Vilma and Ravens LB Ray Lewis …

I've only been exposed to Vilma a couple of times. We played a couple of years ago when he was a rookie. I know Donnie Henderson was a member of my staff for a number of years and was there with the Jets and felt that was a comparison based on the potential of Vilma. He really liked the kid, so most of my observations come from people like Donnie that thought the world of him. Having been with Ray and with Vilma, he's probably as good a judge of it as I would be.

On breaking league rules …

It's pretty clear-cut, if it's in the rulebook and you violate it, then it is against the rules. If it's not, it leaves it open to interpretation. I'll leave it to the league because they are better minds than mine to figure out what is clear-cut and what is not.

On the value of draft picks …

Huge. Depends on how high the pick, obviously. More so than anything else you can do, no financial fine, no sanction will bother you more than losing a draft choice.

On RB Willis McGahee's previous success against the Jets …

Willis is a good back — that is why we coveted him. When you play a team twice in your division, you have two opportunities to look good. You have a larger body of work to draw from and I don't know how to quantify the success Willis has had against the Jets, I haven't noticed it in that kind of detail, but obviously he is very familiar with them and that is a plus. I thought Willis ran very well the other night.

On how the defense changes if Lewis is unable to play …

You don't take a Ray Lewis out of the defense and continue to do the same thing. It's a huge difference. Ray's versatility, instincts and knowledge of things allows us to do a lot of the things that we do. Some of the exotic things we do are because Ray covers you up on the inside. It clearly affects your game plan.

On DB/KR B.J. Sams …

B.J. is on IR with a serious knee injury. We have lost B.J. for the season.

On turning the ball over six times against the Bengals …

One game hopefully is not a trend. We were very good with that last year. Hopefully, we will be good again and we got a season's worth [of turnovers] out in one game. Being the typical, proactive and optimistic coach that you are supposed to be, giving up six turnovers and still having a chance to win with 30 seconds on the clock is encouraging. To make that many mistakes and still be within striking distance of winning the game was huge. That's what we have to focus on.

We can't do some of the things we did to turn it over. It wasn't like we threw a bunch of interceptions, forcing the ball into coverage. The ball tipped off of two peoples' hands and both should have been caught. You can try to do the good coaching things and say, "Listen, you have to catch that ball," and they will say, "Great, Coach, is that why they pay you the big bucks? That's tremendous coaching. Yeah, good idea. I think I'll catch the ball next time." There is only so much you can do to help in those situations.

On the status of QB Steve McNair …

Steve has a sore groin. We will work through the week and see how he progresses.

On the Ravens' home-field advantage …

Our fans are phenomenal. They get cranked up at M&T Bank Stadium. It can be very loud, which is great. I have always believed that your fans can tangibly affect the game by wearing your opponents out and adding to that physical wear and tear. Going on the road is tiresome and come the fourth quarter, you have worn them out, your fans have worn them out and that is usually a very good combination. I credit our fans for the passion they bring to the stadium.

RAVENS S ED REED

On whether his preparation has changed due to the short week …

Not much has changed. Coach will make all the adjustments we need as a team to make sure we try to be as fresh as possible on a short week.

On how he prepares for an offense when the quarterback is unknown ...

You have to prepare for the scheme. You look at the preseason and see what the quarterbacks did for the most part, but at the same time you have to make sure you're prepared as a team. We have to make sure we're on point with what we do and make the adjustments as we can once the game gets started.

On if he gets excited when a QB makes his first start against him …

Always. We're not a typical defense that you can just pick up. It's something that takes some time for a quarterback that's coming in for the first time. I'm sure he's excited, too, and looking forward to the challenge, but at the same time, somewhere in the back of his head he's a little shaken up.

On whether it's the Baltimore defense's talent or schemes that confuses young QBs …

It might be both because you have guys that are coming from everywhere and you never know who's coming. If you haven't seen it, it's hard to pick up just from studying it for one week's time.

On whether he remembers shaking up Brooks Bollinger two years ago …

Just a little bit, yeah. That's just what we do. We try to focus on us and what we do. We do that for the most part. Just shake him up and rattle him a little bit to make the coverage harder.

On the best way to rattle a rookie quarterback …

Get to him as quickly as possible. If you're in his face you might get him out of the pocket and force him to throw the ball somewhere he doesn't really want to throw it.

On how they're dealing with the injuries …

You hate to see guys get hurt. It's part of the game and it's something you have to deal with. It's good that it happened early in the season and guys have time to rehab. Hopefully we can get everybody back as soon as possible.

On whether he was surprised to hear about Patriots videotaping …

Not really. I'm sure every team has somebody that looks at different teams. It's just that they got caught.

On what kind of an advantage it would be to have that kind of information …

It would be a hell of an advantage. But at the same time, the players still have to go out and execute at the end of the day.

On whether that makes him feel more vulnerable out on the field using signals …

We already have two or three people out there calling the plays. It's hard to pick up on what we're doing, plus you have to study tape and all of that and know who's giving the call and where we're coming from with it.

On what the defense loses without of Ray Lewis …

You lose a leader, you lose a great defender and you lose somebody who was making the calls, somebody you looked to for energy, somebody who can make that one play that you need. It's huge if Ray is not playing.

On whether he has any interception predictions for Sunday …

No predictions. We're just going to go out and have fun, fly around and hopefully we can get three or four.

On comparisons between Lewis and Jonathan Vilma …

Definitely. When Vilma was coming out, I was already up here and asked him to come up. He wanted to meet Ray and sit down and talk to him. I know they talked to each other just about the defense. They both play the same position and I know from playing with Vilma my years at Miami that he's a smart guy, a leader and he's just like Ray. I've played with Ray and I've played with Vilma. I know those guys' mentalities. They're two smart guys, two leaders, two physical guys and two playmakers at the same position.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising