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NFL rules Billick can rip replay, not refs

The NFL fined Ravens coach Brian Billick $15,000 for his criticism of officiating in the Oct. 19 game in Cincinnati.

Peter Hadhazy, the NFL's director of game operations, leveled the fine in a letter sent Monday to Billick. That was three days before commissioner Paul Tagliabue suggested at the league meetings in Chicago that the coach should be fined.

The fine came a day after Billick criticized instant replay following his team's 26-6 win over Denver. He was not fined for that but for comments made after a 34-26 loss in Cincinnati a week earlier.

After that game, Billick criticized the officiating and said he still was in favor of instant replay. Sunday, after two replay calls that went against him in the Denver game, he said he would oppose instant replays at the league meetings in March.

Hadhazy, however, leveled the fine for Billick's specific criticism of the officiating in Cincinnati by the crew headed by Johnny Grier, who has more games as a referee than any active official.

"I don't know that Johnny wasn't looking at pictures of his kids in that little booth," Billick said.

FIRES DESTROY EX-PLAYER'S HOUSE: Ed White, a former NFL lineman and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, lost his house in the Cedar Fire that ravaged San Diego County this week.

White and his wife, Joan, lived just south of Julian, an old Gold Rush town in the mountains northeast of San Diego. White is the development officer for San Diego State's athletic department.

He couldn't be reached for comment, but his assistant, Cara Rodiles, confirmed that White's house burned. "He's doing really well," Rodiles said.

BEARS: Safety Mike Green signed a five-year contract extension, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

RAMS: Safety Adam Archuleta and cornerback Travis Fisher are expected to return from injuries and play Sunday against San Francisco, providing much-needed reinforcements in the secondary. Fisher missed Sunday's victory over the Steelers with a groin injury. Archuleta has missed two games with a sprained ankle and was listed as questionable.

TEXANS: Quarterback David Carr probably will miss Sunday's game against the Panthers with an injured right ankle, even if the team's other two QBs are knocked out. Veteran Tony Banks will start in place of Carr, who was hurt last weekend at Indianapolis.

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