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.
"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."
* 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.