Ravens are an embarrassment

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

His players haven't been caught on a lewd party boat, but Brian Billick's Baltimore Ravens are giving the Minnesota Vikings a run for embarrassing performances.

Expected to challenge for a playoff spot and more, the Ravens are last in their division, averaging just 11.8 points per game.

They have lost five road games in a row and after a club-record 21 penalties in a shameful loss to the Detroit Lions last week, have had their character and discipline questioned.

Predictably, that has led to some piling on of Billick, a coach never shy about tooting his own horn.

"There are those rightly so, to a degree, who want their pound of flesh," Billick said. "That's fine and they can take it off me if they choose."

Billick said he often seeks advice from retired coach Bill Walsh and another of his confidants, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green.

"Some of them are having the same problems as I'm having," Billick said. "We can call and commiserate: 'God you suck. Yeah, so do you. What do we do about it?'

"I don't know if you need that phone call."

NOT SO SPECIAL

It didn't take long for coach Andy Reid to come out firing after the Eagles were thumped 33-10 by the Dallas Cowboys.

And caught in the crossfire was Toronto's Mike Labinjo.

A backup linebacker with the Eagles, Labinjo was cut by Reid two days after the loss, an apparent scapegoat for the under-achieving special teams unit.

The Cowboys ran 27 of their first 31 plays in Eagles territory after poor kick coverage by the Eagles special teamers, including Labinjo.

A second-year player who made the Eagles as an undrafted free agent, Labinjo dressed for the team for the final three games of last season as well as well as all three playoff games. He started at linebacker in the Eagles opener this season when Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter was suspended.


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