Disappointment ends in heave-ho for Billick

OWINGS MILLS, Md. --- Brian Billick never came close to duplicating the success he enjoyed early in his career as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, and it finally cost him his job.


Billick was fired Monday, fewer than 24 hours after his team concluded a season of high expectations with a disappointing 5-11 record. His entire staff, including defensive coordinator Rex Ryan , also was dismissed.

"I believed that it was time for a change, I believed that we have the nucleus of a team that can get back to the Super Bowl, and we felt that in the next five years we had a better chance with a new coach than leaving Brian in that position," said owner Steve Bisciotti .

Billick won the 2001 Super Bowl in his second season with the Ravens, but since Bisciotti took over full ownership in 2004, Baltimore was 33-33.

Billick had three years left on a contract that pays $5 million per season.

BILLS: Marv Levy stepped down as Buffalo's general manager, confident he has the team headed in the right direction despite a second consecutive 7-9 finish.

"If my contributions to their efforts have been meaningful, I then take my leave from One Bills Drive, thankful and gratified," said the 82-year-old Hall of Fame coach, who had a two-year contract.

JAGUARS: Offensive tackle Stockar McDougle was charged with pushing the owner of a landscaping company and a female clerk because of a dispute about a bill. McDougle was arrested Friday.

The owner said he struck McDougle's car with a shovel because he thought McDougle was trying to run him over. Detectives did not find visible injuries on the owner or employee. McDougle was released from jail Friday.

PANTHERS: A day after Carolina finished out of the playoffs for the second year in a row, John Fox remained confident that he'll return as the coach. But speculation about his status won't end until owner Jerry Richardson makes his decision public.

When asked whether Richardson would finally address Fox's status, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said it was unlikely.

DOLPHINS: Bill Parcells' shakeup began with the firing of general manager Randy Mueller . Assistant director of player personnel Mike Baugh and college scouting coordinator Rick Thompson also departed.

CHIEFS: Carl Peterson says he will return for a 20th year as general manager despite a disappointing season.

JETS: The team plans to reinstate the sale of beer next season despite a ban in the season finale that appeared to curb fan rowdiness.


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