Redman, Boller, friends despite competiton.

<p>Rampant speculation about the Baltimore Ravens' impending quarterback decision apparently hasn't affected the passers' mutual admiration society. Incumbent quarterback Chris Redman and rookie challenger Kyle Boller both burst into laughter after Redman poured a bucket of ice water on Boller's head at the close of practice Monday at McDaniel College. </p>

"He was so hot in practice I had to cool him off a little," Redman quipped during a joint interview session after watching Boller take the majority of the snaps with the first offense. 

This was days after an article on the NFL's official Web site suggested that Boller will start at least one of the final two preseason games in order for the coaching staff to fairly judge who should ultimately be the starter. Redman has started the first two preseason games and completed 9-of-15 passes for 97 yards no touchdowns, an interception and a quarterback rating of 51.3. In relief, Boller has completed 19-of-39 passes for 256 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for a rating of 76.4. "Obviously, we get along real well, so that helps the process," Redman said. "But on the field, it's business. We'll let the coaches make the decisions and we'll go out and do our jobs."

Redman has been steadier, but unspectacular. Boller, the first-round pick, has shown a penchant for intriguing throws and a few head-scratching choices. "It's coming," Boller said. "I'm taking it slowly." Redman's opportunities have been somewhat limited to throw the ball vertically, and he's been victimized by dropped passes and penalties. The game plan has also been much more liberal when Boller is under center. "It's hard to get a rhythm when you come out pretty quick after three series or so," Redman said. 

Ravens coach Brian Billick won't indicate who's leading the competition and hasn't announced a deadline for declaring a starter. "I enjoy coaching," Billick said. "This is a part of it." CONSTANT MOTION: Even though Kelly Gregg plays a fairly anonymous position, the stocky nose guard continually garners praise from his coaches. Against the Falcons, Gregg was practically unblockable as he led the Ravens with five tackles, deflected a Michael Vick pass and generated two quarterback pressures. "Oh wow!" Billick said. "Give me 22 Kelly Greggs, any day. He's an amazing young man." In one sequence, Gregg tossed Falcons center Roberto Garza to the ground and sprinted over to tackle 250-pound running back T.J. Duckett at the line of scrimmage. "I'm always geeked up," Gregg said. "Ever since I started playing, I've been taught to run to the football and good things will happen." 

MEDICAL UPDATE: Cornerback Alvin Porter strained his groin muscle and was carted off the field Monday. He said it's not serious. Receiver Milton Wynn left practice after experiencing numbness and tingling sensations in his legs. He said his back didn't feel normal, either. Return specialist Hugh Smith didn't practice because of recurring pain in his shoulder. Smith said he required a pain-killing injection to play against the Falcons and is having trouble sleeping because of the discomfort. "I'm willing to play hurt," he said. Tight end John Jones, who suffered a mild concussion and a sprained neck against Atlanta, walked through some of the special-teams drills in the afternoon. "John throws his body into it every game and comes out of it with something like that," Billick said. "He's usually there when the bell rings next time." Rookie outside linebacker Terrell Suggs (neck) returned to practice. 

Defensive end Jarret Johnson practiced despite a strained shoulder. Offensive tackle Orlando Brown (knee) took limited work in the morning session and said he's primed to play this weekend against the Redskins. "I think that we are going to get him back at this point," Billick said. "Emotionally, it's been real tough for him because he's so anxious to get out there and play." The remainder of the injured list who missed practice: cornerback Corey Fuller (strained groin), safety Ray Perryman (shoulder), punter Dave Zastudil (hamstring), receiver Frank Sanders (toes), linebacker Bernardo Harris (broken leg) and cornerback Tom Knight (hamstring). Fullback Harold Morrow (knee), center Mike Flynn (knee), linebacker Cornell Brown (hamstring) punter Dave Zastudil (hamstring) and running back Musa Smith (knee) took limited part in drills. Tight end Trent Smith (broken leg) and receiver Javin Hunter (ruptured Achilles' tendon) are out for the season.

 ABSENT: Franchise cornerback Chris McAlister was excused from practice for personal reasons.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times

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