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To the surprise of many, coach Brian Billick did not drop the bombshell that he was making a switch at quarterback.

Despite Steve McNair's season-long slump and the starter's own comments after Sunday's 21-7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals that he would not object to a benching, Billick did not make such a move. The coach deferred any judgment on whether he would go with McNair or backup Kyle Boller against the Cleveland Browns Sunday until he had a chance to review -- with the team's medical staff -- McNair's left shoulder, which apparently became sore and an injury concern this morning.

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"I'll have to wait and see," Billick said in response to whether McNair or Boller would start against the Browns. "We've got some more work to do before I can definitively tell you what direction we're going in."

Other notes:

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* Billick said he does not intend to relinquish his play-calling duties just yet. But he did offer this caveat: "I'll make that change in a New York second if I think there's a better way to do what we're doing."

* Wide receiver Demetrius Williams suffered a high ankle sprain early in the third quarter of yesterday's loss. That kind of injury usually takes several weeks to heal. If that's the case, expect to see a lot more of Devard Darling in the offense's three-receiver set. Cornerback Chris McAlister, who has missed the last three games with a strained right knee, seems to be progressing, according to Billick. "We'll see what this week brings," he said.

* The topic of Derek Anderson, a former Raven draft pick who has thrown 20 touchdown passes for Cleveland this season, was posed again, and Billick put on a two-step shuffle that would have made Gregory Hines proud. "Derek's a fine young man, and we'll look forward to playing him this Sunday," Billick said.

Quote of the news conference: "The way those guys fought through it leads me to believe in the character of this team." -- Billick in response to whether he has any concerns about the team's morale.

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