While Ravens coach Brian Billick has refused to reveal his thoughts, he is now discussing the possibility of a change at signal caller for Sunday's home game against the Cleveland Browns. The reason for this change should be obvious, due to McNair's play all season long, especially the last two embarrassing division losses to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. However, if McNair does not return under center this weekend, it will be due to injury not performance, according to Billick.
Baltimore Ravens (Associated Press): If his ineffectiveness doesn't send Steve McNair to the Baltimore Ravens bench, perhaps a sore shoulder will.
Ravens coach Brian Billick says the struggling quarterback has developed "substantial soreness" in his non-throwing shoulder.
This "phantom" injury, will lessen the humility of McNair losing his job to the very person he was brought in to save the team from! Sending your $11 million "savior" to the bench is a move that must be hard for Billick to take. At the same time, if he's not going to play the rest of the year, then this means he probably won't next year as well. That being the case, the Ravens are facing the possibility of releasing McNair in the offseason and taking a big cap hit for next year. However, they can then focus on spending that money elsewhere, be it for another high-profile free agent, or resigning some of their players (T. Suggs).
Even McNair seemed resigned to the fact that while he still has the heart and knows what he wants to do, his beaten and battered body just won't cooperate.
"This is probably the lowest point in my career that I've had over my last two games," said McNair, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who has committed six turnovers over the past two weeks since returning to the lineup from back and groin injuries. "What do I need to do about it? I don't know. I'm trying to play hard, but it's just not there.
"My turnovers have been killing this team. I don't know what the coaches are going to decide. If they decide to go with Kyle, that's fine. I'll probably agree with them."
While I've been calling for Kyle Boller to replace McNair for weeks, it's still sad to see the end of a quarterback's career. McNair was a very good quarterback, but not a great one. He had an incredible MVP season in 2004, when he shared it with Peyton Manning. But great was differentiated from good recently by Tiger Woods, when he said (in a nutshell) that great was performing at an excellent level over and over again. Manning falls into this category, McNair does not. He should retire at the end of this year, and not hang on too long and risk diminishing his star quality. Baltimore Colt great Johnny Unitas tried to continue playing with the San Diego Chargers after Baltimore let him go and it was painful to watch him fail in his short stint there. As McNair was quoted (above), "...it's just not there."
Time to move on. Thanks for the memory of last year. Bye bye Steve.