Billick fined $15,000 for criticizing officials after loss to Bengals

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Comments after Broncos game will not be costly

Fuller out tomorrow

Pro Football

November 01, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Ravens coach Brian Billick was fined earlier this week for his comments directed at referee Johnny Grier a day after the Ravens' 34-26 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 19, NFL officials confirmed yesterday.

A league official said Billick was fined $15,000 for questioning what Grier looks at when he goes into the replay booth. Billick said he "does not know that Johnny wasn't looking at pictures of his kids in that little booth," after the Ravens lost a challenge involving receiver Frank Sanders.

Billick, however, will not be fined for his post-game rant about the instant-replay system after Sunday's win over the Denver Broncos, according to league officials.

The Ravens had a Todd Heap touchdown overturned in the second quarter of the Broncos game, and later lost another challenge involving Heap.

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said at the owners meetings Thursday that he thought Billick should be fined after Billick said the NFL should `dump the whole f------ thing' in the wake of the Broncos game.

Tagliabue said Billick's tirade was "intolerable, unacceptable, uncalled for," at the owners meetings.

Billick will not be fined because he merely gave his opinion on the replay system as a whole.

"No reaction," Billick said of Tagliabue's remarks. "I've made my views clear about the issues and am moving on to the next game."

Billick is not allowed to comment on fines received from the league.

Slow start for stars

Earlier this week, Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan began his planning for tomorrow's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a couple of familiar faces in running back Fred Taylor and receiver Jimmy Smith.

Taylor and Smith have been two of the cornerstones of the Jaguars offense the past six years. Both, at various times, have had success against the Ravens, with Taylor rushing for 151 yards in a 17-10 Ravens' win last season.

"Those two are where we start," Nolan said. "And then with the quarterback [Byron Leftwich], they've got three guys."

As for Taylor and Smith, neither has had a memorable season so far. Taylor has only one 100-yard game this year and has been held under 50 yards twice. He is averaging 4.1 yards a carry this season, the second-lowest average of his career.

Smith missed the first four games serving a suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

Still a threat

Billick, though, is not forgetting Taylor's 151 yards in last season's game, though it helped produce just one touchdown.

"He's a great back," Billick said. "All we have to do is look at last year's film to recognize that."

Fuller out for tomorrow

Cornerback Corey Fuller will not play tomorrow, the only Raven expected to miss the game due to injury.

Fuller strained his groin and hamstring late in the fourth quarter against the Broncos and is doubtful for the game. He has not practiced this week.

Gary Baxter is expected to start in place of Fuller, and Will Demps will likely fill in at safety for Baxter.

All in the family

Following linebacker Cornell Brown, who faced his brother Ruben in a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, left tackle Jonathan Ogden will be on the opposite sideline of his brother tomorrow.

Marques Ogden is a sixth-round draft pick who plays all three offensive line positions for the Jaguars.

He has been inactive every game this season.

"He is working hard for us," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "He has been inactive because we have been really healthy up front."

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