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TL: Brian, I appreciate you taking time to speak with me today given the circumstances stemming from your recent dismissal by Steve Bisciotti.
BB: No worries my brother. What else have I got to do? I just got back from the grocery store, knocked off my wifeâ€™s list and spent about 6 hours in the magazine aisle perusing for articles about me getting canned. I figured that it was a bit soon for that and then I got sidetracked looking at the help wanted ads. I have to tell you when money is no object there are some fun jobs out there Tony.
TL: What are you looking to do with yourself now that your coaching days are overâ€¦or are they?
BB: Iâ€™ve always said that I will retire here in Maryland. I love it here and Iâ€™ve got this nice piece of property on the Eastern Shore that is just screaming for my company. But I could always change my mind and move to Minnesota or San Francisco. I mean people can change their minds you know. Just ask my last boss.
TL: Brian, walk us through the events that led up to your firing on Monday.
BB: No thanks to Frank Gansz, Jr. and his lame all hands team, we were able to get back in the win column against the AFC North champs. Great win for this organization and this team. The guys, Iâ€™m so proud of them. They were very committed and focused after a solid week of practice and they executed the game plan to perfection. We now have the prerequisite momentum going into next season.
TL: Brian, you wonâ€™t be here.
BB: Look, you are splitting hairs over semantics. You know as well as everyone associated with this organization that when all is said and done, the best man for this job is Brian Billick. Steve and Ozzie simply need to go and figure it out for themselves. Itâ€™s not much different than a marriage undermined by infidelity. They are cheating on me now but they will soon realize that theyâ€™ll want me back and when they do, theyâ€™ll have to pay dearly. When you stray you pay. And they will.
TL: Ok but letâ€™s assume for a secondâ€¦and I know this is difficult for you â€“ but letâ€™s assume you are wrong and they do hire a new coach.
BB: Well like I told you last week Tony, I have 15 million reasons not to be upset. But theyâ€™ll come back. Did you hear the fans out there Tony? They loved us beating the Steelers. That was the fifth consecutive time we beat the Steelers at M&T. The fans want me on that sideline. They need me on that sideline.
Did you see the way Kyle guided that offense for most of the evening? He looked like a 5 year veteran out there executing the perfect game plan, reading through his progressions. Look itâ€™s not his fault that he didnâ€™t have many progressions to read through in the past. I mean, sometimes we only had one receiver running a route â€“ a play clearly designed to skew the parameters and confuse the defense. Kyle would look at his only receiver, then look up in the stands to try and get the defense to move away from the receiver. When they didnâ€™t, he threw the ball well out of bounds and far away from the grasp of any defender. That was a veteran play and a throw that Kyle makes perhaps as well if not better than any quarterback in the NFL.
TL: Brian, are you ok?
BB: Never been better.
TL: Kyle was inactive against the Steelers and Troy Smith was at quarterback.
BB: Really? I thought he played at Ohio State.
TL: Back to Mondayâ€¦what happened?
BB: Oh well after that win against the Steelers I was basking in its glory. The city put aside all the angst directed towards me and like the selfless man I am, I forgave them and wished them a happy and prosperous 2008.
So I come into my office early Monday morning, call Rex and ask him to be prepared to do a little road show with me to find the right offensive coordinator for our club. Rex was funnyâ€¦he asked if we could start with all the OCâ€™s from our division so he could pick their brains. That Rex is a clever guy.
After we plotted out the tour, I saw this Southwest commercial on TVâ€¦you know the one when the couple goes through the bank drive-thru and puts a ton of change in the plastic tube which then crashes through the wall inside the bank. I love that commercial. So when they ask, â€œNeed to get away?â€ I say, â€œYouâ€™re GOD—- RIGHT I ORDERED THE CODE REDâ€¦er I mean I do need to get away.
While I was looking for my Rapid Rewards card, I hear this knock on my office door and standing there is the man himself, Steve Bisciotti. I hadnâ€™t seen him in nearly 2 months. Heâ€™s been in Spain and Ireland and Hawaii golfing with his sons and his buddies. For weeks I called him hoping to get a public endorsement on my return in â€™08. But I understand. Bonding with your sons in a Dublin pub throwing back pints of Guinness after a tough 18 holes is important.
So there he is, I drop what Iâ€™m doing, run up to him and give him a big hug and right then I knew something was wrong. He didnâ€™t hug me back and he could barely look at me. I knew I had lost him.
I suggested counseling but he resisted. He said he wanted to pursue another relationship, that he would be sure to take good care of me and the family. I asked if it was over and he sheepishly said yes. I then did what anyone would do in that situation. I picked up my ipod, dialed into some Neil Sedaka and shook my head in agreement when Neil sang (Brian singing), â€œBreaking up is oh, so hard to dooooooooooooooooooooooooo.â€
TL: What nowâ€¦what will you do?
BB: Iâ€™ll take some time off, wait for Steve to call back. Until he does, I think the Mrs. and I will go see how Elvis Grbac is doing. Heâ€™s pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth you know and itâ€™s not fair how he was unceremoniously kicked to the curb after a tough 2001 season.
TL: Have you been asked by any of the networks to do some studio analysis during the playoffs?
BB: Oh sure, you know how that goes. Get fired or quit and you end up on TV if you are a good looking, articulate coach like me. The offers are flying in. Wouldnâ€™t it make for great TV for me to sit next to Bill Cowher and discuss the Steelers and the Ravens temporary vacancy? You know I hear there are a couple of fans in Baltimore that actually want him to coach the Ravens. Thatâ€™s like Kordell Stewart playing quarterback for the Ravens. How ridiculous is that?
TL: Ok Brian…whatever. Coach in the event you do return, we look forward to more editions of Ask Brian. In the event you donâ€™t come back, we want to wish you all the best, express our appreciation for all the fine things you did for the Ravens, especially your instrumental role in bringing another Super Bowl Championship to the city of Baltimore. May you and your family have a safe, happy and prosperous 2008 and beyond.
BB: Thanks Tony. See you at the draft press conference?
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Everyone needs a little levity now and then right? So keep that in mind with yet another fictional edition of "Ask Brian".