During his 9 seasons in Baltimore Brian Billick compiled a record of 85-67 (.559) including a 5-3 record in the playoffs – and of course a World Championship in Super Bowl XXXV.
Billick has been away from the sidelines and in broadcasting booths and studios ever since Steve Bisciotti abruptly fired him on New Year’s Eve, 2007.
Billick deserved it.
Inside sources agreed and offered comments that included but were not limited to:
“He lost the team.”
“His commitment to Boller split the locker room.”
“He was arrogant and crass and disrespected the scouting department.”
Billick’s departure in many ways was a self-fulfilling prophecy. He said on several occasions that the coaching life cycle is 7 years after which the same old message from the same old ball coach no longer delivers the intended results. A look around the league suggests that Billick’s theory is off since several highly successful coaches with tenures at or exceeding 7 seasons are still going strong.
Maybe given Billick’s style 7 years is about right.
But I have a feeling that being in the booth, watching and analyzing teams and games as an analyst has helped to give Billick a new perspective on coaching. He’s an extremely bright man and he will process his experiences while remaining mindful of past transgressions. Eventually he will marry up the good aspects of Brian Billick with what he’s learned and become an even better head coach – provided of course that he’s given that opportunity.
And you have to wonder why he hasn’t.
This is just a guess but maybe Billick’s coaching well has remained dry because he came to Baltimore to provide a spark to a struggling offense — a spark that never ignited. His offense was carried by an inherited championship caliber defense that was worthy of more than one Lombardi. Consequently the perception may be that he never accomplished what he was hired to do and in the eyes of some stood in the way of Ray Lewis & Co.
Is yesterday’s perception today’s reality?
Smart folks do learn from their mistakes.
Stubborn people don’t.
The guess here is that today’s Brian Billick is smarter than he is stubborn, humbled and energized by his experiences.
The team willing to give him a second chance will benefit.
A league with teams that willingly hire unproven head coaching talents like Jason Garrett, Josh McDaniels, Todd Haley, Pat Shurmur should be willing to bring on a former Super Bowl Champion head coach.
The question shouldn’t be, “Why hire Brian Billick?” but rather, “Why not?”