FLASHBACK FRIDAY: McNair to Baltimore

mcnair billick

In 2006 the Baltimore Ravens put an end to Brian Billick’s volatile romance with Kyle Boller and traded for Steve McNair. Here’s a look back at the mood during that time along with some irresponsible journalism from a Pittsburgh Pierogi Wrap…


There’s no denying that Steve McNair is a significant upgrade over Kyle Boller. However, many Ravens fans curb their enthusiasm because of the concerns surrounding the offensive line as well as McNair’s history of injury. Over the past 3 seasons, McNair has played in 38 of 50 games. During the same period, Kyle Boller has been available for 37 of 49 games.

When examining McNair and then questioning his ability to stay healthy, there are other things that have to be factored in as well. First, McNair did not have the caliber of players in Tennessee at the skill positions that he will enjoy here in Baltimore. Without a talented supporting cast, particularly the lack of a game breaker in the backfield or on the outside, defenses could afford to take their shots at McNair.

Secondly, McNair has not been supported by a rushing attack the way that Kyle Boller has. Over the past three seasons beginning with 2005 and ending in 2003, the Titans rushing attack has finished 23rd, 14th and 26th (21st on average). Comparatively speaking, the Ravens have finished 21st, 9th and 1st (10th on average).

It would be naïve to think that McNair can play in all 16 games this season given his recent history. Boller will see time behind center and without the pressure of being No. 1, Boller could shine in limited action. We just might see one of the weakest starting QB’s become one of the best backups.

According to Vic Carucci, a guest on GAMETIME and staff writer for NFL.com, there is one member of the Titans’ staff that isn’t crying in his beer over the departure of Steve McNair.

Carucci writes, “As the Titans’ rookie offensive coordinator in 2005, Chow struggled. He hardly resembled an offensive mastermind, which was the reputation he enjoyed while helping USC win multiple national championships. Chow had all sorts of struggles in making the jump to the next level, a challenge he admitted publicly was tougher than he anticipated.

“The Titans didn’t run well. They didn’t provide McNair with much protection or ever generate an offense with true game-breaking threats. Chow’s biggest problem, though, was an inability to connect with his veteran quarterback.”

Chow should have wanted McNair around. Given the Titans’ free agent spending spree this offseason coupled with the eccentricities of the unpredictable Bud Adams, a losing season resulting from a struggling offense could send the collegiate offensive mastermind packing. Something to keep in mind – was Chow’s success at the collegiate level the result of his X’s and O’s prowess or what it simply a case of having superior talent?

The lady responsible for Ben Roethlisberger’s accident has been exposed. Thanks in part to the slick undercover but highly irresponsible work of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the 62-year-old woman’s identity is now well known and she’s predictably the target of threatening phone calls.

Thankfully the Steelers are spinning Big Ben’s injuries in such a way that the Steelers’ faithful embrace the notion that their QB will be ok for the season opener and that takes pressure of the remorseful woman. But what if he isn’t? What if Roethlisberger struggles and blames his failure on poor conditioning? If you think this unfortunate bad driver is being harassed now…

3 Raves on “FLASHBACK FRIDAY: McNair to Baltimore

  1. Brian M on said:

    High hopes that year and a couple of nice wins against Pitt. The stare down of Heap in the end zone of the playoff game is the most vivid memory now.

  2. JerryB on said:

    My recollection is that McNair was asked to “manage the game” in the playoffs following Billick’s infamous doctrine of “playing not to lose”, which was complicit in their…….losing! His “love affair” with Boller is legendary and his demise as a head coach is as inextricably linked to Boller’s failure to ever live up to the “hype”, just as Harbaugh’s success is inextricably linked to Flacco’s incredible success!

  3. Mista T on said:

    One of the worst front-office moves in team history. McNair was obviously washed up and had personal problems (weel-known in Nashville). Unbelievable that he was chosen ahead of Brees.

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