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Criticizing Officials Is Costly for Billick

November 01, 2003|From Associated Press

Baltimore Coach Brian Billick was fined $15,000 by the NFL on Friday for his criticism of officiating during the Ravens' game in Cincinnati on Oct. 19.

The fine was leveled by Peter Hadhazy, the NFL's director of game operations in a letter sent Monday to Billick. That was three days before Commissioner Paul Tagliabue suggested at the league meetings in Chicago that the Ravens' coach should be fined.

The fine came a day after Billick criticized instant replay after the Ravens' 26-6 victory over Denver. He was not fined for that but for comments made following a 34-26 loss in Cincinnati a week earlier.

After that game, Billick criticized the officiating and said he was still in favor of instant replay. Last week, after two replay calls went against him in the Denver game, he said he would oppose instant replay at the league meetings in March.

Hadhazy leveled the fine for Billick's specific criticism of the officiating in Cincinnati by the crew headed by Johnny Grier.

"I don't know that Johnny wasn't looking at pictures of his kids in that little booth," Billick said.

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Oakland Raider cornerback Charles Woodson was critical of Coach Bill Callahan in an interview with ESPN.

"I think that we have a coach with a very big ego," Woodson said. " ... He's not listening to the veterans and that's what's sad about it.

"You know when you get to a point in life when you can't listen to guys with experience like we have on our offense, then I think that's something very wrong."

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The NFL informed the New Orleans Saints that officials made three incorrect calls during their 23-20 overtime loss to Carolina on Sunday, according to a published report. Saint coaches told the New Orleans Times Picayune they had been told by the league of the three blown calls, which were costly to New Orleans.... Running back Michael Bennett was activated by the Minnesota Vikings and is expected to make his season debut Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

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