Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, you already know that the Baltimore Ravens will be adding former head coach Brian Billick to their preseason broadcast team.
Most reactions fall under 1 of 2 categories:
- Excitement for a Billick return to Baltimore.
- Frustration that it’s only the preseason, not the regular season as well.
While both are legitimate, one opinion on the matter has me doing that awkward head turn thing that dogs do when they look confused.
Oh Jamison… you could not be any more wrong.
Before I go any further let me get this out of the way- “changed the losing culture of the franchise?” They had only been a franchise in Baltimore for 3 seasons prior to Billick.
Are you kidding me?!
And if Hensley is suggesting the ‘losing culture‘ dating back to the days of the Browns, he clearly doesn’t have a grip on the fact that the Browns franchise failures, prior to moving to Baltimore in ’96, has zero effect on Ravens fans whatsoever.
Come on, Hensley…
(close eyes… deep breath… find my happy place… good)
Look, I love Brian Billick as much as the next person. Actually- and I’ll likely get flack for this- I still consider Brian Billick my favorite head coach of the Ravens in their 21 year history. Billick was well spoken, had control of the locker room, and proved extremely knowledgeable about the game. He helped foster and grow what many consider the best defense of all time.
And then there was the hat season!
All of that said- and the hat aside- he’s still not Ring of Honor worthy.
A quick statistical glimpse of Brian Billick’s tenure as the Ravens head coach:
“In 9 seasons as the Baltimore Ravens head coach, Brian Billick had a winning regular season record 5 times (8-8 once as well), with 4 playoff appearances for a 5-3 post-season record, and a Super Bowl in his second season in Baltimore. The Billick-led Ravens never won a playoff game after his 3rd season, and slumped to records of 6-10 & 5-11 in 2 of his final 3 seasons. “
Does any of that scream greatness?
Furthermore, in terms of sheer stats, Billick isn’t even the best coach the Ravens have had. That title belongs to John Harbaugh.
It’s close… if you just turn a blind eye to the playoffs.
Of course, you can argue that Billick had Trent Dilfer for his Super Bowl run, then went on to add Elvis Grbac, and eventually traded up to draft Kyle Boller in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft (instant onset of nausea typing that sentence).
Sure, every one of those quarterback moves set the franchise back. But guess what? Billick had a hand in those personnel moves too!
All of this is not to say Billick was awful. Again, I like the guy, he was a very good coach, and he did bring the Ravens their first Super Bowl victory. But the Ring of Honor isn’t about good, or even very good.
It’s the Ring of Honor, not the Ring of Eh-nor.
It’s about being GREAT.
Oh yea, and Earnest Byner. But that’s a whole different can of worms there…
Needless to say? It’s getting crowded. And this is a team with only 21 years of history. If the Ravens continue to put in mediocre or slightly-above average players and/or coaches, the Ring of Honor becomes overcrowded, and the significance becomes watered-down. Diluted. Meaningless.
While Billick will always be a part of Ravens history- and rightfully so- let’s keep the Ring of Honor for the best of the best and stop treating it like a participation trophy (I swear if somebody suggests that Pitta should go in, I’m gonna go off the deep end).