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Billick downplays Blake's work at QB

8/24/2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Though Ravens coach Brian Billick won't
admit it, Baltimore could have a quarterback controversy.

Jeff Blake threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Javin Hunter and
Matt Stover kicked two field goals to lead the Ravens past the
Philadelphia Eagles 13-12 on Friday night.

Blake was 6-of-12 for 92 yards and led the Ravens to 10 points --
all against Philadelphia's backup defense.

First-year starter Chris Redman was 9-of-15 for 150 yards and
one interception. He still hasn't led the Ravens into the end zone
in three games.

"I take whatever reps I get,'' said Blake, who has said
repeatedly that he wants to start. "I just want to win. I do
whatever it takes to win. If I get the opportunity to play, I'll do
the best I can.''

Billick declined to address the situation.

"I think he did some very good things,'' Billick said of
Redman. "Typically, there are things he needs to do better, but he
made some big plays.''

For the second straight week, the Eagles missed a 2-point
conversion late in the fourth quarter that would have put them
ahead.

Tim Hasselbeck's 1-yard TD run with 1:19 left got Philadelphia
(1-2) within a point, but Rod Smart dropped a pass from Tim
Hasselbeck on the 2-point attempt.

Last week, A.J. Feeley threw an 8-yard scoring pass to Sean
Morey with 50 seconds left to get the Eagles within a point of New
England. But Feeley's pass for a 2-point conversion went off the
hands of Corey McIntyre as the Patriots held on for a 16-15 win.

"There were opportunities to score there,'' Eagles coach Andy
Reid said. "Both times we dropped the ball.''

Trailing 13-6, the Eagles got the ball at Baltimore's 43 after
Paul Grasmanis recovered a fumble by Dameon Hunter with 5:26 left.

Hasselbeck, competing with Feeley for the No. 3 quarterback
spot, completed 12-yard passes to Sean Scott and Brian McDonald
before he dived in from the 1.

Philadelphia's first-team offense got just two field goals in
the first half against a defense that was without several starters,
including two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Peter Boulware.

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was 12-of-19 for 139 yards,
but was sacked twice and had to run out of the pocket several
times.

"We had some plays we wanted back,'' McNabb said. "The ball
slipped out of my hands or whatever it may be, but I don't want to
make excuses.''

Blake, in his first season with the Ravens, got two series with
Baltimore's starting offense, but couldn't generate any points.

But Blake needed just two plays to get the Ravens' backups into
the end zone in the third quarter. After a 10-yard punt return by
Lamont Brightful put Baltimore at its 44, Blake completed a 31-yard
pass to Ron Johnson before firing a 25-yard TD pass to Hunter that
gave the Ravens a 10-6 lead with 5:45 left in the third.

Stover's 31-yard field goal made it 13-6 early in the fourth
quarter. Stover hit a 44-yarder to cut it to 6-3 late in the first
half.

The Eagles' starters went three-and-out on three of their last
four possessions, and have scored just one touchdown -- against a
backup defense -- and two field goals in 13 possessions this
preseason.

Using just a simple version of their West Coast offense for
their third straight game, the Eagles started well. Duce Staley had
a 19-yard catch on the first play and McNabb added a 19-yard
scramble on a first-and-15 to get inside the Ravens' 20.

But after getting to the 16, Dorsey Levens lost two yards on a
carry and McNabb was sacked by Will Demps on third-and-9. David
Akers kicked a 40-yard field goal to make it 3-0.

Philadelphia started its third drive at Baltimore's 40 after
Barry Gardner intercepted Redman. A 10-yard pass to James Thrash
and a 14-yarder to Chad Lewis again got them inside the 20.

But on third-and-7 from the Ravens' 11, McNabb was sacked by
Shannon Taylor, forcing the Eagles to settle for Akers' 34-yarder
that made it 6-0 early in the second quarter.

Akers, a Pro Bowl selection last year, missed a 55-yarder wide
left just before the first half ended and was wide right on a
46-yarder in the third quarter.

Baltimore played without starting running back Jamal Lewis, who
missed last season with a knee injury. Last week, Lewis played in
his first game since the 2001 Super Bowl, but was held out Friday
to prevent injury.