Mike Preston: OK, hurry over and let's put on our miniskirts and grab our pom poms. Ready, here we go: "Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Kyle; Kyle; yeah, Kyle!" How about this one, Dennis? "Kyle, Kyle, he's my man, let's give him a great big hand. Yeah, Kyle!"
Lars, San Diego: Please tell me there is no way that Billick can put a positive spin on this disaster. I agree more and more with Shannon Sharpe - Billick's and Boller's destinies are now linked and they both must go! It has never been more clear. The question is, who would want to come in to Baltimore as a quarterback with our miserable success rate with QBs?
Mike Preston: Nobody. Until they change coaches or schemes, it makes no difference about the quarterback. We can round up the usual suspects we talk about every week, but we keeping putting another finger in the dike instead of repairing the leak, or creating a new project. Apparently Dennis thought Boller looked like John Unitas in the 1958 championship game as Boller marched the Ravens down the field against the great Texans. After seven years of some of the worst offensive football in the NFL, Ravens games are now unwatchable. How can ownership sell this coach, this quarterback to the public next season? There is no hope right now. It doesn't mean you're not a fan to say that, but it's just being realistic. Until changes are made, they can bring in another quarterback, but the results will be the same.
Glenn, Nashville, Tenn.: Why did the Ravens wait until the second half of the Bengals' game and the last minute of the Texans' game to open up the offense for Boller? With the season at a loss, isn't it time to see what the offense can do without restraints? Why the continued conservative play?
Mike Preston: Because despite playing young players, the Ravens still want to win. Jobs are being lobbied for based on wins and losses. The Ravens control Boller because they know he is inaccurate and inconsistent. He can take a team out of a game in a hurry. They know what Boller can and can't do. He has to be restrained for the team to be competitive. If he isn't, God help the Ravens.
Dave, North East: Mike, tell the truth - winning 13-12 with 2:56 remaining, backed up inside their own 5, fourth down and 15 to go - the thought that the Ravens might INTENTIONALLY take the safety MUST have crossed your mind! They did everything else to give that game away.
Mike Preston: So are you suggesting the Ravens had Reggie Bush on their minds, or they are just that incompetent? It was definitely a 'buddy' game. Here Texans, you take it. No, no, sorry, here Ravens, you take it. I think they should have just flipped a coin, and spared us the three to four hours of misery trying to watch this game.
Ben, Baltimore: Should the Ravens try to sign Aaron Brooks? There's no doubt that 2005 has been a terrible year for him and the Saints, but could he potentially be a good fit in Baltimore?
Mike Preston: Read my answer to the second question. Aaron Brooks is not the answer. Tom Brady is not the answer. Peyton Manning would solve some problems, but wouldn't last a season behind this offensive line. There is more than just quarterback problems on this team.
Mike, Miami: Hey Mike, what direction do you think the Ravens should go in the early rounds of the draft? Don't you think that we need to establish a new team identity?
Mike Preston: The Ravens need to go out and find some offensive and defensive line help. That's where they need to start. They could use as many as four new starters on the offensive line, and possibly one or two on the defensive line. It's not hard to figure out. If your front seven is winning on both sides of the ball, then you're probably going to win games. The Ravens went for flash during the offseason instead of substance. They have gotten what they paid for because flash doesn't win games. Big guys up front win games on any level. That part of the game will never change.
GHT, Portland: Last week I wrote that B.J. Sams was our most electrifying player. Let me add one more adjective to that - idiotic. I didn't even know you could fair catch a kickoff.
Mike Preston: No argument here. Idiotic is appropriate.
Dash, N.Y.: Mike, what are the Ravens going to do about Ray Lewis? If he's reallly hurt, I'd like to know about it. From my perspective, it appears as if he's effectively given up on the Ravens and on his teammates. Please tell me the Ravens are not going to give Ray any 'farewell contract.' Ray knows this is a business. If you don't perform, you don't get paid. This is an important time for the Ravens. They need to begin rebuilding and should part with Ray on good terms.
Mike Preston: There isn't a farewell contract for Lewis. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome remains firm about Lewis playing out the remaining three years of his current contract. Media members were looking for Lewis on the sidelines Sunday, but we couldn't find him. The Ravens reported he was in Miami getting a second opinion from a doctor on what was first diagnosed as a thigh bruise, but now has turned into a slightly torn hamstring. As far as injuries with the Ravens this season, you don't know what's going on. Billick says one thing, the PR staff say another and then the player contradicts both. They have become a circus. Deep down inside, I don't believe they knew where Lewis was, and didn't care. It is apparent that Lewis and other prominent players on the team don't want to play for Billick. Somehow, they either have to work things out, get rid of some players or get rid of Billick. The locker room is actually worse than last season. Maybe it's time to clean house, from top to bottom.
Anthony, Philadelphia: Thanks for fielding questions, Mike. I'm a Ravens fan stuck in Philly. This past week you called out a few players that you felt hadn't given up yet. Who do you think has given up?
Mike Preston: I think you have to read my new book, "Next Man Down," to get that answer. It's the sequel to "Next Man Up," written by John Feinstein. In the book, which will be released in 2010, I go behind the scenes and discuss how the players conspired to get rid of Billick. It's great, compelling reading. It'll be out in paperback in five years.
Mike, Baltimore: Why Jamel White? It's not like he is going to be better then any undrafted free agent. Heck, they could have tried Maurice Clarett, then sent him to Europe in the offseason to work into shape.
Mike Preston: White has played with the Ravens before, and is familiar with the system. Maurice Clarett? The Ravens already have a lot of head cases on the team.
John, Baltimore: Hey Mike, thanks for taking away that glass of purple Kool-Aid and replacing it with a clear, refreshing glass of truth. Do you think if the Ravens end up with six or seven wins that the organization will spin it as an off-year, or do you think they will actually make some of the big changes that the team needs?
Mike Preston: They can't spin this disaster. The game Sunday was a battle between two of the worst, if not the worst, teams in the NFL. Owner Steve Bisciotti is not going to stand for this. I think he will make the changes needed, and try to improve this team. Actually, I think he will improve the team. Because if this coach and group can't get it done, then he will find people who can. Bisciotti is no Peter Angelos.
Vermont fan, Stamford, Vt.: You thought that if the Ravens lost to Texas, Billick might be gone by Monday. So, after winning by a point with six seconds left, does that mean Billick gets until Tuesday?
Mike Preston: A loss is a loss, but in this case, a win is a loss. I don't know what the future holds for Billick, but this has been a pretty sorry football team dating back to the final four or five games of last season. I'm not sure Bisciotti would have fired Billick Monday morning if he had lost to Houston, but there would have been one hell of a meeting. And after that debacle Sunday, there probably still was one.