Baltimore Ravens Coach Brian Billick is at a loss on how to resolve his team's offensive woes.
In the aftermath of Baltimore's 35-8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night before a national television audience, Billick will take the next few days to ponder what adjustments can be made to add life to what has been a moribund offense.
"There may be some change. There may not be some change," he said. "We'll just see in the next couple days as I formulate what our plans are going to be. . . . Sometimes there's no answer. There's the lesser of evils. That's a fact of life. There's no right answer. There's no right way to do it. There's just lesser degrees of being wrong."
Billick's most pressing concern is the quarterback situation. Billick replaced Scott Mitchell as the starter after the second game, even though the Ravens dealt two draft picks to acquire Mitchell in the offseason.
Stoney Case, who was signed in August after being released by Indianapolis, replaced Mitchell but has not been productive in his four starts. Case was replaced in the fourth quarter against Kansas City by Tony Banks, who led the Ravens on their only scoring drive.
There is no easy answer to Billick's quarterback situation. Mitchell has experience, but his mobility is limited. Case has mobility, but he lacks experience. Banks has a strong arm, but he tends to stray from Billick's system.
"I don't know what I'm choosing between right now [at the quarterback position]," Billick said. "I've got to think about it a little bit more in terms of what it is I want to get done. . . . I have to factor in a lot of factors in terms of short term, long term, [the quarterback's] interests, the team's interests."
Case takes responsibility for his team's inability to generate more offense. He finished 15 of 37 for 103 yards and three interceptions against the Chiefs before being replaced by Banks with about 10 minutes remaining in the game. His confidence, however, has not suffered.
"I've made mistakes, but I've also made some good plays," Case said. "I made some good plays [against the Chiefs]. They were just overshadowed by too many bad ones."
Banks, who was 8 of 14 for 69 yards against the Chiefs, has not played much during the regular season, but he did have an impressive showing against Atlanta in the preseason. Banks completed two touchdown passes in that game to Patrick Johnson.
"I'm just playing it by ear," Banks said of the starting position.
The quarterback situation is not the only issue hampering the offense. Billick has several factors to consider as he tries to make the Ravens (2-4) competitive throughout the remainder of the season. The receiving corps lacks dependability, and the offensive line has been ravaged by injuries.
Starting right tackle James Atkins left Thursday's game in the first quarter with a strained groin. Atkins, who had not played a game this season because of a strained hamstring, was filling in for starter Harry Swayne. Baltimore listed Swayne (lower leg contusion) and backup tackle Spencer Folau (knee) on the inactive list prior to the game. After Atkins left the game, the Ravens were down to six healthy offensive linemen.
"I've got some time here and I want to think through it a little bit," Billick said. "It's a larger dynamic than just the quarterback. I've got to look at the next two, three, four opponents and how I think that's falling into place, how the defense will do against them, what our injury situation is with the offensive line. There's a lot of things to it."