Trent Dilfer apologized to Ravens coach Brian Billick today. For years, Dilfer has held a white-hot burning lump of coal in the pit of his stomach regarding Billick's decision to remove Dilfer in favor of Elvis Grbac following Baltimore's Super Bowl season. Said Dilfer in February: "He grossly misunderstood the talent of that football team, myself specifically. I totally agree with so many things he did. But to this day, I am so sad I didn't have the chance to face the challenge of repeating." Despite playing the Ravens several times since his departure in 2001, Dilfer has never spoken with Billick. That will change Sunday.
"I plan on seeing him on Sunday and making sure that he sees me face to face and let him know that I let that go and that I understand he had a decision to make and the organization had a decision to make and it's not my place to question the decision anymore," Dilfer said. "I can disagree with it but I don't want to hold the bitterness any more. He's been the man, I've been the child and it's about time I fixed that."
Before talking to Dilfer, we spoke to Billick on a conference call. Billick said that it was an organization-wide decision to go with Grbac that season but that he understood Dilfer's disappointment.
Mike Nolan today on the ESPN report that Alex Smith is seeking a second opinion from James Andrews and might have season-ending surgery: "Anything you've heard about Alex is incorrect. You don't need to waste your breath on it." Nolan did say that a physical examination of Smith's right shoulder would be conducted later today by team trainers. If anything changes regarding the QB's diagnosis and prognosis, you can find the facts here. For alternative theories, projections, guesswork, etc. click onto ESPN.
With Taylor Jacobs out of the picture, Nolan declined to say who his new No. 3 receiver will be. Bryan Gilmore, however, didn't mince words: "I believe I'll be in that role. That's what I'm preparing for," he said. Gilmore worked out with three teams - Houston, St. Louis and Oakland - and was ready to give up on his chances of playing this season when the 49ers called Monday.
Nolan said he thought tight end Billy Bajema (ankle) would be doubtful for the Ravens game. That would leave just one healthy tight end, Delanie Walker, although newly signed tackle Patrick Estes has some experience at tight end.
-- Matt Barrows