Billick admits to `mishandling' late timeout call


Coach says he waited too long to stop clock on final Carolina drive

October 17, 2006|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun Reporter

Ravens coach Brian Billick offered a mea culpa for mismanaging the clock Sunday.

Billick spent part of his weekly news conference yesterday acknowledging that he botched a timeout call in the final minutes of the Ravens' 23-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The sequence in question occurred on Carolina's final possession. With 1:15 left in the fourth quarter and on second-and-four from the Panthers' 43-yard line, running back DeShaun Foster ran up the middle for a 3-yard gain.

Billick said he waffled on whether to call a timeout because he thought the officials might ask for a first-down measurement, which would have stopped the clock. When the officials didn't and signaled third-and-one from the 46, 10 seconds had elapsed before Billick elected to burn the first of three timeouts with 1:27 remaining.

"I was waiting for them to measure to see, `Is this inches?' I thought they were going to measure, which would have stopped the clock and given us some time," he said. "But then it turns out to be two feet. So I made the judgment that I was going to put it on the defense to stop them there and then use the timeout rather than let the time wind down. And in doing so, I waited too long. So I ran off probably 10 seconds more than I could've if I had made a quicker analysis of it."

After the timeout, Carolina converted its seventh third-down opportunity of the game on a 4-yard pass from quarterback Jake Delhomme to wide receiver Drew Carter.

The Ravens called two more timeouts, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Panthers from running out the clock and ending the game.

Still, Billick took the blame for not calling the timeout sooner, which he theorized would've left the Ravens with as much as five seconds to make a desperation attempt to score a touchdown.

"My mishandling of that for about 10 seconds made the difference between having maybe one final shot to block a punt or maybe a return or something along those lines," Billick said. "That hesitation on my part cost us about 10 seconds."

Landry OK

Strong safety Dawan Landry's sprained knee likely will not keep the rookie on the sideline when the Ravens travel to play the New Orleans Saints in 12 days.

Billick said if the Ravens had a game Sunday, Landry's sprained medial collateral ligament would have forced the team to list him as doubtful yesterday and perhaps questionable later in the week.

"So the prognosis on him going into two weeks from now - unless something drastically changes - based on everything they've done, is pretty good," Billick said.

New approach for Rolle

Billick said he and Samari Rolle spent a portion of yesterday's meeting discussing the cornerback's troubles against the Carolina receivers Sunday.

Delhomme threw 11 passes at Rolle, completing eight for 171 yards and two touchdowns. The game-winner was a 72-yard pass to wide receiver Steve Smith.

"What happens is Samari comes in and makes a commitment to work harder and recognizes that he needs to approach it a little bit differently," Billick said. "I had a great conversation with Samari, and he's an excellent corner. We have a great deal of faith in him. He's done a couple of things technique-wise and alignment-wise [and] been left vulnerable a couple ways. Certainly, he's not going to point fingers."

Moore coming back?

Billick hinted that wide receiver Clarence Moore - whom the team cut Saturday - might return soon.

Moore, who did not make a reception in two games this season, was released to make room for second-year linebacker Dennis Haley, who solidified a banged-up special teams unit.

"This will still play itself out," Billick said. "We were in a situation where we had to make a move because of our vulnerability. Any player I would've moved off the roster of 53 to get Dennis Haley up would've been disappointed because I like our 53-man roster."

Moore's absence was an opportunity for Haley, who was informed by general manager Ozzie Newsome on Saturday afternoon that he was being promoted to the active roster off the practice squad.

"That's the opportunity I've been waiting for since the first game of preseason," said Haley, who saw spot action on special teams Sunday. "I've prepared myself to go out there and contribute to the team. We didn't come out with the win, but just to be a part of the team and be a contributor felt good."

End zone

The team announced that former linebacker Peter Boulware would be inducted into the Ring of Honor during halftime of the Nov. 5 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Boulware, who holds the franchise record for career sacks (70) and sacks in a season (15), will join Earnest Byner, Michael McCrary, Art Modell and the Hall of Fame Baltimore Colts in the club. ... With his 41 rushing yards Sunday, running back Jamal Lewis extended his franchise-leading career mark to 7,021 yards. ... Despite being outgained, 414-292, the Ravens offense moved up in the rankings, improving to 28th (271.7 yards per game) from 29th (267.6) a week ago. The defense dropped from second (219.6) to third (252.0).

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