Explanations on J. Lewis fumble elusive

Ravens notebook

With players absent, Billick keeps it simple: `It didn't get executed'

November 18, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

For those looking for a little clarification as to who really was to blame for Jamal Lewis' overtime fumble in the Ravens' 9-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins Sunday, the team provided none yesterday.

And that was intentional.

"You go three hours and have 36, 37 runs. We ran that play maybe a half dozen times," coach Brian Billick said. "So why did we have the problem we did? We just didn't get the exchange. I'm not going to sit here and say it was Anthony [Wright]'s fault or Jamal's fault. It didn't get executed.

"During the course of the week, both will work on it. We'll focus on that."

With the players having the day off, neither Wright nor Lewis was around to offer ideas on how they managed to bobble an exchange in overtime, a mistake that was deep enough in their own territory to set up an Olindo Mare field goal.

After Mare nailed his 43-yard attempt with 6:12 left in the extra session, a story surfaced in the locker room that Wright did not take the proper number of steps before handing off to Lewis, messing up the timing of the play.

While Lewis never confirmed that story, he did not take responsibility for the fumble, either, and said he needed to consult the game film to see what happened.

Whatever that film shows, the fact remains it was Lewis' third lost fumble over the past two games.

"Everybody has their own views on what happened and why it happened and things like that, but I'm a grown man and I take responsibilities for my own actions," Lewis said after the game.

Billick said the Ravens cannot afford similar miscues in the future.

"Jamal knows that can't happen in order for us to win," Billick said. "He's very conscious of that and very frustrated, too."

Signs good on Weaver

Defensive end Tony Weaver`s neck sprain does not appear as though it will keep him out of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Weaver missed the second half of the Dolphins game after suffering the injury tackling running back Ricky Williams.

"Anthony Weaver looks to be OK," Billick said. "I'm not going to expand on that until the next day. It looks like everybody will be ready to go on practice on Wednesday."

Nod to Bengals

League observers may be surprised to see the annually woeful Cincinnati Bengals at the top of the AFC North with the Ravens, but Ravens linebacker Ed Hartwell is not.

Hartwell went as far as to say the Bengals have a good team.

"They have a lot of first-round draft picks," he said. "They have a great coach, a great scheme and they sneak up and beat teams.

"It might go down to the wire and who wins the game we play next month."

Brightful on roll

For the second straight week, Lamont Brightful came up with a big return.

It's been a resurgence for Brightful, whose 73-yard kickoff return against the Dolphins set up the Ravens' only points in the first half - a 39-yard Matt Stover field goal. A week earlier, Brightful had a 24-yard punt return that helped set up a field goal to close the Rams' lead to 14-6 in the first half.

Two weeks before that, Brightful had lost his return job temporarily to Dedric Ward.

"Again to see us impact a game with our return team, that had been lacking a little bit the first half of the season," Billick said. "It has showed the last two weeks, so that is a positive."

End zone

The Ravens are asking fans to bring non-perishable food items and money to Sunday's game as part of the annual Ravens Family Food & Funds Drive. All donations, which will be accepted at the stadium entry gates, will benefit the Maryland Food Bank.

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