From top to bottom, Ravens of 2004 failed

Steve Bisciotti should be angry. His first season as the Ravens' majority owner was a monumental flop.

He should be angry at his front office for not getting the players his team needed to compete, like a front-line receiver or two, better offensive linemen, a quarterback who has yet to look like anything but journeyman quality, and a couple of big, run-stopping defensive linemen.

He should be angry with players who failed to perform up to expectations, like his starting cornerbacks, one of whom got a big, new contract and then coasted, and the other who can't seem to consistently cover anyone.

He should be angry when 16 weeks into the season he's still hearing about communication problems in the secondary.

He should be angry at his head coach, who declared this a Super Bowl team and then permitted his offense to be coached to the depths of the league rankings.

Finally, he should be angry at himself for letting all of this happen during his first year.

Bisciotti needs to stop being a fan and start being an owner. It's time he put his stamp on this franchise and held his front office, coaching staff and players accountable for their underachieving performance.

Stephen Bassett Laurel

Playing not to lose is Billick's big problem

Brian Billick is the most overrated coach in the NFL. During his time with the Ravens, the team has never had a consistent attack on offense. Even the year the Ravens won the Super Bowl, they did it with defense.

Billick is living on the credit that former defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis and his players earned during the 2000 season. Billick also plays not to lose, and that's why the Ravens lose.

On Dec. 5, the Ravens had fourth-and-one from the 2-yard line in the first quarter against the Bengals, and Billick opted to kick a field goal. Are you kidding me?

Just remember the Bengals game, and that's all you need to know about the Ravens' coach.

I hope the new owner is paying close attention to that.

Kevin M. Kane Bel Air

Ravens in good hands with Billick as coach

I find it very curious that there is so much criticism of Ravens coach Brian Billick. Let's take a Ravens history lesson, if you will.

In the team's first three seasons, under the inept leadership of coach Ted Marchibroda, the Ravens went 16-31-1. For all intents and purposes, the season was over by Halloween.

In six years under Billick, the Ravens have a regular-season record of 56-40, a postseason record of 5-2, an AFC title, a Super Bowl title and an AFC North title. In 2002, he took a stripped-down, near-expansion team and nearly took it to the playoffs.

Under Billick, the Ravens have played meaningful games at least up to Week 15 or beyond. So when you want to criticize him for his errors in judgment (and there are many), remember that he took over a team that was the laughingstock of the NFL and turned it into a reputable organization that other teams fear and respect.

If I owned the Ravens, I'd sign Billick to at least a 10-year contract. With him at the helm, they always have a chance to win.

Marty Mossa White Marsh

NHL owners right to take back sport

Has anybody noticed that there is no NHL hockey?

The owners are right for trying to take back their sport from overpaid athletes. The owners are the ones taking all the risk, spending all the money. The players won't take a pay cut when the owners lose money on teams.

The hockey owners are sending a message, and pro athletes everywhere should listen, especially baseball players, that this could be your ghost of Christmas future calling.

Ray O'Brocki Baltimore

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