Sports Outside the Beltway

Ravens Fire Brian Billick

After falling woefully short of expectations, the Baltimore Ravens have fired head coach Brian Billick.

Less than a year after signing him to a contract extension through 2010, the Baltimore Ravens on Monday fired coach Brian Billick. Billick’s dismissal was confirmed to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen by owner Steve Bisciotti and to’s Len Pasquarelli by an assistant coach and a front office official. The Ravens will discuss their decision at an afternoon news conference at team headquarters.

Only a few weeks ago, Billick proclaimed that he would return in 2008, but Bisciotti, who does not speak to the media during the season, made no statement to that effect. “I just changed my mind,” the owner told The Baltimore Sun on Monday. “I can’t explain it to you. It’s the toughest decision I’ve had to make.”

Billick, 53, compiled an 85-67 record in nine seasons. The Ravens, who won the AFC North championship in 2006, struggled to a 5-11 mark this season, a year that included a nine-game losing streak that ended with Sunday’s 27-21 win over Pittsburgh.

In his second season with the franchise, Billick led the Ravens to the Super Bowl XXXV title in 2000, but never got the club back to the title game.

A world championship earns a certain amount of loyalty but six years of failure is simply intolerable in the win-now NFL.

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