Ravens have plans for Sams

OWINGS MILLS - B.J. Sams is a rookie, but the Baltimore Ravens aren't treating him like one.

The team installed an entire offensive package prior to a 23-9 win Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals for the undrafted return specialist from McNeese State.

Sams wound up producing an eight-yard gain on a reverse in addition to his career-high 63-yard punt return.

"We had a five-play package for him called 'Stallion,' plays that we have been nurturing," Billick said. "First play up, there's [running backs coach Matt] Simon yelling 'Stallion,' and there's B.J. standing next to me. I had to tell him, 'Son, I think you belong in there.'

"There, he went. You have to remind yourself sometimes that it gets big for them. You saw the reverse and we will try to use his quickness and speed without overburdening him."

EXPECTING A TOUGH GAME: The Kansas City Chiefs feature nine players who went to the Pro Bowl last season, including former Ravens running back Priest Holmes, and finished 13-3.

However, they're off to an 0-3 start heading into Monday's game against the Ravens. A soft defense hasn't been rejuvenated by the return of fiery defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.

"I think they're surprised," Billick said. "I think the whole league is surprised. You're going to see a desperate team, and that's the most dangerous kind that will do anything to get back in it.

"Dick Vermeil's one of the best coaches ever and to think that you're just going to casually put a Dick Vermeil team at 0-4, it's just not going to happen. So, we're going to get the fight of our lives."

TO BE FINED?: Linebacker Ray Lewis was penalized 15 yards for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. Similar contact regularly draws fines from the league office. Lewis maintains that he led with his shoulder, not his helmet.

"I only saw a glimpse on the monitor when they played it back," Billick said. "I will leave it to the league to determine that."

SCRAMBLER: Quarterback Kyle Boller rushed for 24 yards on four carries, including a 7-yard touchdown run.

He fumbled near the goal line when hit by linebacker Nate Webster and lost another fumble without being touched. Through three games, Boller has rushed for 74 yards on 14 carries for a 5.3 average.

When asked if defenses would have to account for Boller's mobility, Billick said: "I'm not saying they'll have to prepare like for Mike Vick or anything, but where it hurts you is on third down and he pulls it down for a first down. Kyle has reminded me of [Mark] Brunell with his athletic skills.

"That's one of the things that drew me, that drew us to Kyle. He has the athleticism and he can run the ball very intelligently notwithstanding the fumble."

QUICK HITS: Safety Ed Reed received the defensive game ball for intercepting two passes. … Tackle Orlando Brown was awarded the offensive game ball. "He had a near-perfect, mistake free game," Billick said. Running back Chester Taylor received the special-teams game ball. …The Ravens are undefeated in Monday night games, having beaten the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos in 2002 at home and the Tennessee Titans in 2001. … Baltimore has won seven consecutive games at M&T Bank Stadium, but is 0-2 all-time against Kansas City with a 17-10 loss last season and a 35-8 loss in 1999.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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