Billick acknowledges taunting penalty was valid

WESTMINSTER -- Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick grudgingly acknowledged that the excessive celebration penalty that Ed Reed and Ray Lewis drew was technically warranted under the NFL rulebook.

The Ravens were flagged for taunting after Reed intercepted a pass and delivered a lateral to Will Demps for a touchdown in a 26-17 loss Friday to the Philadelphia Eagles. On the ensuing kickoff, which was pushed back 15 yards because of the infraction, the Ravens allowed an 88-yard touchdown return.

"I checked, they thought it was valid," Billick said of his communication with league officials. "We can't do that anymore. It's unfortunate that after a big play teammates can't come around and congratulate one another. We will show the guys the film and say, ‘This is what you can't do.'"

Reed and Lewis claimed they only looked at one another after the touchdown, and didn't choreograph any end-zone theatrics.

"I didn't see any orchestration," Billick said. "I saw no posing. I saw a bunch of guys jump on another guy, patted him on the back and said, ‘Nice job.' They looked at it and said that it was not allowed."

TRAINING ROOM: The list of players hurt against the Eagles is somewhat lengthy, including: defensive end Tony Weaver (high ankle sprain), tight end Todd Heap (bruised shoulder), cornerback Corey Fuller (bruised lower leg), wide receiver Travis Taylor (groin) and wide receiver Devard Darling (quadriceps).

Fuller was initially diagnosed with a knee sprain. He hopes to be back by the end of this week. Taylor might be out until Wednesday. And Weaver and Darling are day-to-day.

Meanwhile, defensive end Marques Douglas (elbow), linebacker Peter Boulware (knee), return specialist Derek Abney (shoulder), quarterback Anthony Wright (shoulder), cornerback Fred Weary (quadriceps), defensive tackle Matt Zielinski (knee), tight end Trent Smith (leg) and offensive tackle Orlando Brown (family illness) didn't practice. Offensive guard Casey Rabach (knee) and running back B.J. Sams (thumb) practiced.

"Nicks, bumps and bruises, we are in that part of camp now," Billick said. "Some of those guys are just going to have to work through them. All in all, we are in decent shape."

LEGAL UPDATE: Fuller, who faces felony gambling and firearm charges in Tallahassee, Fla., and was originally scheduled to go to court today, said his case has been continued.

SARCASM: When Billick was asked if the team will concentrate more on practicing kickoff coverage, he responded with dead-pan delivery.

"No, we will totally ignore it, totally," he said. "We want to give up another touchdown. We aren't even going to practice anymore. We're done for the season."

PROGRESSION: Quarterback Kyle Boller completed 10 of 20 passes for 97 yards, no touchdowns and an interception for a 43.1 passer rating against the Eagles.

His interception to Eagles linebacker Ike Reese came on a short-armed pass intended for tight end Daniel Wilcox.

"That was a poor throw, but he'll learn from that," offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh said.

Billick said the second-year quarterback's pocket awareness was generally fine.

"He is doing some good things, but he needs to do more," Billick said.

FIRST SACK: Rookie outside linebacker Roderick Green, the team's fifth-round draft pick, was relieved to find that the pass-rushing moves he employed at Division II Central Missouri are effective in the NFL.

Green sacked former Ravens quarterback Jeff Blake in the third quarter for a loss of 15 yards despite a shotgun formation.

"Anybody that gets a sack should feel good about it because it's always so tough to get there, and it's nice to see that some of my college moves are working for me," Green said. "I gave the tackle a little stutter-step and got upfield."

EDWARDS HOLDS UP: Rookie defensive end Dwan Edwards, the team's second-round draft pick, continues to impress the coaching staff in his transition to the NFL. He recorded three tackles in his most extensive action of the preseason.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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