Billick's stubbornness big part of Ravens' woes It is...


November 25, 2001

Billick's stubbornness big part of Ravens' woes

It is admirable that Elvis Grbac wants to shoulder all of the blame for the Ravens' inexcusable loss to the Cleveland Browns. No question, he stunk up the place and deserved every boo he received. But the true culprit in this situation is a stubborn Brian Billick and his coaches for thinking that Grbac was the only missing piece to another Super Bowl run.

In a perfect world, perhaps he was. He is the prototypical NFL quarterback with mountains of physical tools and he clearly was a "technical" upgrade from Trent Dilfer. But, the moment Jamal Lewis and Leon Searcy went down, Billick should have called Dilfer and begged him to return because it was clear then that the Ravens were going to need something that Grbac has shown his entire career that he simply doesn't have - toughness, competitiveness, leadership, and the ability to improvise.

That's why, like it or not, Billick must set aside his false pride and go with Randall Cunningham - at least for now. Even at 38, Cunningham still has the skills to perform at a high level in the NFL and already has demonstrated in his cameo appearances that he can lead this team, handle the pressure, still has the competitive fire, and can improvise as he must when his offensive line and running game lets down as they do every game.

Grbac has lost his nerve, his edge and appears to rapidly be losing support from his teammates. It's time for him to watch for a while. Let's give Randall the ball and see what happens.

Steve Bassett Ellicott City

With Grbac, Ravens going down the drain

I wonder if Trent Dilfer is laughing as hard as I am at the antics of Elvis Grbac and the absent Ravens offense.

Dilfer led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory and got tossed out on his ear for his trouble. Elvis is leading them into the toilet bowl.

Wonder what happens to him at the end of the season? It's been said before that it's better to be lucky than good, but when your luck runs out and you're not very good, you get hammered by the newborn Cleveland Browns for the second time this season.

How embarrassing!

Bob Erlandson Towson

Preston's name-calling with Billick unnecessary

Mike Preston has every right to express his view that Ravens coach Brian Billick should replace Elvis Grbac. However, calling the coach "hard-headed" and saying he is driven by ego is not only wrong, it's also forgetful.

Coach Billick was the reason this team won the Super Bowl - the reason this city and state celebrated through January and relished our victory over the NFL. It was Billick who brought not arrogance but confidence to the Ravens and to Baltimore. He is the reason we don't like to lose anymore and ultimately he will be the reason we win.

Mr. Preston should demonstrate professionalism and express his view. Resorting to name-calling compromises his opinion and makes us seem like spoiled children.

Ralph L. Sapia Towson

Ravens were bad Sunday, but so was the officiating

By no means am I blaming the Ravens' loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday entirely on the officiating. God knows there is enough blame to go around.

But how much longer is the NFL going to coddle and protect Cleveland? The officiating Sunday was blatantly horrible. Those of us in the stadium and everyone watching on TV were viewing the same replays as the official on the field. The announcers on television even agreed that the calls were horrendous.

You cannot tell me that there is no bias toward Baltimore and that there is no effort to help Cleveland in every possible way. The officiating in general has been a disgrace this year, but how can you rewrite video footage?

Mike Foudos Baltimore

Ravens should set example, cut Ja. Lewis

When will they ever learn, athletes and drugs? I don't want to hear the politically correct rhetoric, that they are a "product of their environment."

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis has been in the league two years and has two offenses. I, as the average Joe in my industry, would have been gone after the first offense.

Here's a man with a $35 million contract, sitting on top of the world, and he is wasting it. I sit in PSINet Stadium, a great facility that the taxpayers paid for, being ripped off for $6 a beer, $3.75 for common water, and I can't expect the best players on the field.

Do we have another Steve Howe, Darryl Strawberry or Bam Morris story? As the Ravens' credo states before each game, we should expect "the players' best efforts on and off the field," but will the team live by it?

When will the team say enough is enough, cut the player after the first offense and let the chips fall.

The heck with the thought of another Super Bowl. Cut Lewis.

Henry C. Preston Timonium

With Anderson's release, another loyal player gone

What a sad way for Brady Anderson to end his career as an Oriole. For the past 14 years, he has provided the Orioles with a consistent performance and continues to hold the club record for home runs in a season.

Despite all of the ups and downs the team has faced over the past few years, Brady never waived his no-trade clause. He made it very clear that he wanted to complete his career as an Oriole.

Well, he has finished his career as an Oriole, but, unfortunately, not on his own terms. On the heels of losing Cal Ripken, the Orioles have lost another loyal player.

Angela Strauch Baltimore

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