INDIANAPOLIS – If the Patriots have an interest in offensive lineman Orlando Brown, they may have some competition from the Ravens, a team Brown played for after it moved from Cleveland. "I would have no aversion to having Orlando back," Billick said. "He's come by the locker room now and then. It will be interesting to see if he can play and see his size, but he's fresh."
Bill Belichick was one of three speakers Friday morning at a memorial service for former Pro Football Weekly writer Joel Buschbaum. The others were Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Arm strength shouldn't be an issue at the next level for Cal quarterback Kyle Boller, who said he could throw the ball through the goal posts from the 50-yard line on his knees. He said the farthest ball he's thrown from a standing position is 81 yards and he threw a ball 76 yards in high school.
Browns Head Coach Butch Davis is not against adding two teams the playoffs, but enjoyed the final month of the season with so many teams chasing the limited playoff spots. "December was as fascinating a month as I've seen," Davis said. His team, of course, was one of the six in the AFC to qualify for the playoffs where it lost a tough game in Pittsburgh. Davis has now guided the Browns from a 5-27 team in its first two years to a playoff team. "The theme in our building is 'no steps backward.'"
The Ravens Brian Billick doesn't necessarily agree with Davis about adding teams to the playoffs – a possibility Patriots Owner Robert Kraft mentioned at a charitable function last month. "One of the great things about our league is that you have to work to make the playoffs. I don't want to play 16 games to keep four teams out." Any such move would not be made this season, but one would have to examine the benefits any such move would have on league revenues in terms of making the network television package more attractive, and therefore, more lucrative. Look for this to become an issue as the current network TV package nears it end.
Davis also said he was pleased with the progress that former Boston College running back William Green made as the season progressed. "He fulfilled what we thought he could do in the second half of the season," Davis said. "Now it's about consistency and doing it over 16 games."
Tampa Bay's reigning Super Bowl champion Head Coach Jon Gruden was asked about whether his brother Jay, an assistant on his staff and a quarterback in the Arena Football League, could play in the NFL. "I don't know about that," Gruden said to a smattering of laughter. "I don't want to make him mad so I'll say he can play."
Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Carson Palmer, the former USC star expected to be the draft's first pick, raved about his time spent playing under former Patriots Head Coach Pete Carroll. "He's as good as they come," Palmer said. "I learned a lot from Coach Carroll, not just about football but about life. I wish I had a couple more years to play and grow under him."
A couple of other quarterback prospects are spending time working with former NFL passers to hone their skills. Florida's Rex Grossman has spent time in Tampa working with Steve DeBerg. "Steve's helping me get ready," Grossman said. "He's taught me a lot of good footwork and how to get rid of the ball faster with your feet. He's also taught me how to watch and break down film." Miami's Ken Dorsey has been in Phoenix being tutored by Danny White. "Danny has helped me with my mechanics," Dorsey said. "He worked with me to shorten my release to get the ball out quicker."