Boller Ready for First Pro Start

Baltimore Ravens' Head Coach Brian Billick raised a few eyebrows around the NFL when he anointed rookie Kyle Boller as his starting quarterback.

Boller a first round selection from the University of California was locked in a battle for the starting job with incumbent Chris Redman throughout training camp.

Neither Redman or Boller had distinguished themselves enough to pull away and lay claim to the job, but Billick decided to give Boller most of the snaps leading into the final preseason game and started him in that contest against the New York Giants.

Boller responded by connecting on seven of his nine passes for 99 yards and 2 touchdowns in last Thursday's 30-24 loss to the Giants, compiling a quarterback rating of 152.1. Redman struggled; completing just 1 of 6 passes for eleven yards.

So Boller will start on Sunday in Pittsburgh against the Steelers in the season opener and he is excited.

"It's a great opportunity for me," Boller said. "I am really excited to go out there; pretty much like our team. I just want to go out there and execute, and do everything I can to help my team win the game."

Boller struggled early in the preseason, but seems to be feeling more comfortable and appears to be grasping the offense.

"Things have gotten a lot clearer," Boller explained. "I am really getting a good understanding for our protections for the offense. I feel that I am able now to read defenses. I don't really have to worry about the offense, because I think I have a good understanding of it. I can now turn to reading defenses and doing the things that you want to be able to think about when you are coming up under center."

The Ravens have fed Boller the full package; he won't be running a stripped down version of the offense.

"I have the whole offense," Boller stated. "It is the complete offense. We game-planned different things. But, it is not like I got a special book for me."

The Steelers and Ravens dislike each other intensely and Boller is starting to understand what the rivalry means.

"I have heard a lot of it just from fans coming up to me and different people; I think it is a very important game. I think it is a rivalry, especially since it is the first regular season game. I think every game is very, very important in the NFL. I think it is going to be a very loud game and the fans are going to be into it."

Boller also expects the tough Steelers' defense to come after him.

"I think they are going to move around a lot," Boller explained. "Obviously, I am a rookie quarterback, so I anticipate that they are going to bring a lot of pressure, that they are going to be moving guys around trying to complicate it for me. All that I need to do is be firm with our protections and really make sure that I go through the things that I have practiced and understand everything that I have been taught over the past couple of months."


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