December 31, 2007
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After assurances from the front office, the Ravens fired Brian Billick and his whole staff. Owner Steven Bisciotti indicated that he just changed his mind after talking to some people in football circles.
I think this will end up being a big mistake for the Ravens. Unfortunately, the rumors that were circulating were that Billick had “lost the team” and that he would “never get them back”, so Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome probably made the right decision to bring in someone with a new message and new approach to things.
Obviously the coach got a too much of the blame, and hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call to those players who have been dogs or whiners/complainers that they better show their worth to the new regime or they may be shown the door. Also, maybe the front office will have to take a little more of the blame for the deficiencies on offense because of the offensive players that haven’t panned out.
Billick brought winning Football back to Baltimore and was part of the reason that confidence, arrogance and swagger were terms used to describe the Baltimore Ravens. He motivated his team using “us against the world” speeches to challenge his players to prove their worth to the world every week. He brought “Festivus” to Baltimore with his banning of the P word (playoffs?!) until the Ravens earned their first ever playoff berth. He also challenged his team during the regular season to go win a super bowl making sure they knew that it wasn’t acceptable to just make the playoffs.
I thought he was a good coach with some weaknesses, but I liked the fact that you could always read a few funny quotes in the paper or see some funny clips of him flipping out on TV or in the locker room. He was stubborn, loyal to a fault and a great guy. The performance of the offense over the years finally came back to bite him here with the Ravens, but I’m sure he’ll surface again as a head coach or offensive coordinator somewhere and will have positive results. I think he’ll turn another team into a winner and we’ll miss him in Baltimore, I just hope our next coach can be as successful as he was.