Billick accuses Jets of illegal ploy

OWINGS MILLS -- Brian Billick isn't prone to conspiracy theories, but the Baltimore Ravens' coach sarcastically took issue with what may have prompted a few of his offensive line's latest false-start penalties. During the Ravens' win Sunday where they committed 11 penalties, Billick claimed that the Jets' front seven illegally imitated quarterback Kyle Boller's cadence.

New York was only flagged twice all game.

"I have a hard time understanding that the team that was playing so well and dominating had so many penalties and the other team had only two," Billick said. "They did an outstanding job, their defensive line and linebackers, of simulating the snap count. They did it the whole game long.

"It needs to be caught. That's not an excuse, but it is illegal. Our guys had to deal with it. It sounds like an excuse, but it was a fact. I don't know how to help my guys with that. You can't yell out the snap count."

Offensive tackle Adam Terry was penalized twice for false starts and tight end Quinn Sypniewski drew another flag for the same infraction.

Billick acknowledged that his players were far from guiltless, especially in light of the Ravens being flagged 21 times in 120 minutes of football so far this season.

Still, Baltimore went from committing six turnovers in a season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals to none against the Jets.

"There were some procedures where you've got you to know the snap count, got to get off the ball," Billick said. "Yeah, penalties are always a concern. No turnovers, one problem at a time. Maybe we can now eliminate the penalties.

"The physical act of holding onto the ball, you just have to hold onto the ball. These guys know what the turnovers did to us the week before. They are going to be very conscious of that."

IMPROVEMENT: Billick was complimentary of backup quarterback Kyle Boller following an efficient performance.

Boller, who recently signed a one-year, $3 million contract extension, managed the game with 23 of 35 accuracy for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 97.9 quarterback rating.

"I enjoyed watching him perform," Billick said. "He conducted himself in a way from start to finish that I don't know that I've seen before. The way he conducted himself, his poise, his confidence, when to take a chance and when not to, he operated the game very, very well.

"I hope people can appreciate his commitment to this city and this organization coming back the way he has. Kyle has had some good games here, make no mistake, but it's just the way he handled himself in a very pressurized situation. I was very encouraged."

QUIET APPLAUSE: It was an unusually subdued locker room following a victory, and the lack of celebration was primarily due to the fact that the defense essentially collapsed at the end.

A 20-3 lead evaporated as the Jets scored 10 unanswered fourth-quarter points.

"It was a muted excitement," Billick said. "They saw a game that we pretty much dominated the whole game and we left ourselves vulnerable. I think there was a frustration that we allowed that to happen, which is a good thing.

"I want this team to have that narrow-eyed focus. We didn't play as well as we should have, but I don't want that to mute their passion for a very good win."

SHORTHANDED: During the Jets' second-to-last drive when Jerricho Cotchery had a 44-yard reception, the Ravens were at a decided disadvantage. The defense lined up with only 10 players.

"Yes, a young rookie misunderstood who was supposed to be in the game," Billick said without naming names.

The only rookie playing on defense for Baltimore in the fourth quarter was rookie outside linebacker Antwan Barnes, who was filling in after defensive end Trevor Pryce broke his left wrist.

TACKLING ISSUES: The Ravens, including Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed, missed tackles during the Jets' aborted comeback attempt.

Reed missed time during practice last week with an ankle injury.

"You've got to give them credit," Billick said. "Maybe some of it can be attributed to some of the missed practice time last week.

"We've got to make up for it with practice time and some of the physical things we'll do on Wednesday and Thursday when we get back in pads."

RUNNING HARD: New franchise running back Willis McGahee has begun justifying the Ravens' $40 million investment, running for 97 yards on 26 carries against the Jets and catching his first NFL touchdown pass.

"I want to mention how well we ran the ball with Willis in particular," Billick said. "He runs with a physicality and strength that I don't know I was aware of. There were a couple of plays where he clearly pushed the pile on his own."

QUICK HITS: Wide receiver Demetrius Williams (bruised arm) and tight ends Daniel Wilcox (sprained ankle) and Quinn Sypniewski (sore neck) are expected to practice Wednesday. ... Ivy and his wife, Emilia, greeted the arrival of their first child, a girl named Blaise, last Friday.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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