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The Baltimore Sun

Getting rid of Brian Billick? Let us count the whys

Since Brian Billick was fired as Ravens coach, I have read and heard many comments by sportswriters and fans that owner Steve Bisciotti made a mistake.

The reasons varied, but the fact that Billick won a Super Bowl and had a winning record were always part of their rationale.

Those facts notwithstanding, here are reasons why Billick had to be fired:

Terrible play-calling

Horrendous time management

Nonexistent team discipline

Excessive number of penalties

An offense that has been the laughingstock of the NFL for years

He lost the respect of many veteran players

The only mistake Bisciotti made was giving Billick a four-year contract. It should have been two years, with a long-term decision to follow.

Joseph Spinnichio


Former head coach's staffers might require decontamination

As the Ravens consider a new coach, some thought might be given to the "contamination" of coaches who were on his staff.

Brian Billick insisted on such control over the players on the field as to negate their "feel" for the game, and this might have already adversely affected former defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, a candidate for head coach.

Two examples:

In the Miami Dolphins game, the offense wanted to go for the late, short touchdown but Billick went for the "safe" field goal. It was successful, but the Ravens lost in overtime.

Against the New England Patriots, Ryan called a timeout just as the Ravens defense made a successful stop. New England went on to score the winning touchdown.

Both decisions boiled down to a lack of confidence in the on-field players in critical situations.

Has Ryan been so contaminated by Billick's desire to absolutely control all aspects of the game that he has lost all confidence in his players, as demonstrated against New England?

If so, is he really the best candidate for head coach? Or can he change his way of thinking?

Iver Mindel


Baseball can begin to heal with removal of Bud Selig

What would it take to oust Bud Selig as baseball commissioner?

I believe the game cannot move forward without ousting Selig. Why? It must be done to make a statement that the game is going to make serious changes for the better.

For perpetuity, Selig's name will be affixed to the "steroid era," and there is no way at this juncture that baseball history can be rewritten.

Here's the crux of this cyclical problem: Steroids build muscle; muscle aids in players hitting the ball farther; prodigious home runs foment revenue; revenues make the game thrive.

The time to change is now. I beseech Major League Baseball to begin the task to dissociate itself from the Selig era, find another commissioner and allow the healing to begin.

Patrick R. Lynch


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