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Billick says last and biggest call was right

Published Sep. 10, 2005

The ending was bizarre, the result rather satisfying for the Ravens.

Tuesday, coach Brian Billick said he approved the manner in which the officiating crew handled the hectic final seconds of Monday's game against Tennessee, and praised his team's performance in a 16-10 victory.

The Titans appeared to tie the score on a last-second quarterback sneak by Steve McNair. But referee Bernie Kukar correctly overruled the call because Baltimore linebacker Peter Boulware made contact with McNair before setting up on defense.

After calling offside, a dead-ball foul, against the Ravens, Kukar gave the Titans one more play. McNair was stuffed short of the end zone as time expired.

"It was a strange sequence of events, but the bottom line is the officials ultimately got it right in a roundabout way," Billick said.

And the bottom line is the Ravens have a three-game winning streak and stand half a game out of first place in the AFC Central.

The Tennessee players were befuddled by the turn of events, but coach Jeff Fisher explained the call to them.

"I don't like it, but it was the correct call," said Fisher, a member of the NFL's competition committee, which makes rules recommendations.

Two Tennessee players were injured. Tight end Frank Wycheck sprained an ankle. McNair will wear a cast on his throwing hand for at least a day after aggravating an injury. X-rays and other tests on his right hand were negative but doctors found an apparent hairline break.

BEARS: Fullback Scott Dragos was waived and cornerback Todd McMillon signed.

BRONCOS: Running back Terrell Davis was recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee and is expected to be out 10 days.

CHARGERS: Receiver-returner Reggie Jones, who muffed two punts and had 5 yards on three returns in Sunday's loss at Denver, was released.

DOLPHINS: Receiver O.J. McDuffie and tight end Alonzo Mayes will return to practice today after coming off the reserve/physically unable to perform list, where they have been since September.

JAGUARS: The Nov. 25 game against Baltimore moves from 1 p.m. to 4:15 and the Dec. 23 game against Minnesota from 4:15 to 1.

PATRIOTS: Drew Bledsoe's doctors have cleared him to return. Now all he needs is permission from his coach.

"I'm itching to get back in," Bledsoe said at a news conference with his doctors. "I'm going to do everything in my power to be on the field on Sunday. Ultimately, that's not my decision. But I can't wait."

Bledsoe broke a blood vessel in his chest on a hit Sept. 23 against the Jets. New England, which started 0-2, has gone 5-2 with Tom Brady starting at quarterback.

Also, safety Hakim Akbar, 21, was charged with four violations after an accident in which he broke several bones. Police said his sport utility vehicle rolled off a highway Monday morning near Boston. Akbar, 21, wasn't wearing a safety belt and was thrown from the vehicle.

STEELERS: Coach Bill Cowher apologized for a shouting match Sunday with Cleveland's Corey Fuller. Cowher also said receiver Hines Ward was wrong for apparently taunting an injured Browns player.

HOUSTON TEXANS: The expansion team makes its preseason debut Aug. 5 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio, against the Giants.

TITANS: The mother of running back Eddie George was released from jail after being charged with driving under the influence and child endangerment involving George's 4-year-old son. Donna Jean George of St. Louis was released on $10,000 bond, a jail spokeswoman said. She was accused of DUI while the boy was unrestrained in the front seat.

PACKERS: The kickoff time of the Dec. 23 game against Cleveland at Lambeau Field was changed from 1 p.m. to 4:15.

STEELERS: Coach Bill Cowher apologized for a shouting match Sunday with Cleveland's Corey Fuller. Cowher also said receiver Hines Ward was wrong for standing over an Browns player injured by Ward's block.