Should Brian Billick get another shot as head coach?


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?” 

This entry was posted in Lombardi's Way by Tony Lombardi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

2 Raves on “Should Brian Billick get another shot as head coach?

  1. Fran the Fan on said:

    Steve Bisciotti has been paying Brian handsomely over the past couple of years and that may have took some of the energy out of Billick’s job search. Why work 18 days, 7 days a week, when someone is paying you $5 million to stay off the sidelines?

    I really enjoy the work that Billick does on the NFL Network and Fox Sports. He’s bright, insightful, and articulate. But this year, with so many coaching vacancies, the timing is right for his return. Besides, I’ve missed his snarky comments like “I’ll leave the explanation to those who think they know better.” Come on back, Brian!

  2. Sean on said:

    It is a mystery to me why Billick has not been hired. He is a Super Bowl winning coach. How many of those guys are out there? I know that Billick gets a lot of criticism from some Ravens fans. IMHO they focus too much on Billick’s flaws and not on his achievements. Billick may have not been the offensive guru that many wanted, but he was a great leader. I don’t know more than the average fan about the X’s and O’s, but in my profession, I have been a supervisor for over 20 years and I do recognize great leadership when I see it. Billick had it in droves. He took over a losing franchise, changed the culture and installed a winning attitude. That is not easy to do – just ask Mike Shanahan. And, unlike some people, I think he deserves a lot of credit for the Super Bowl run. No, he didn’t create that great defense, but he did keep the team together during the 5 game “no TD” drought when it could have easily imploded. He also did something very few coaches would ever do – in mid-season, he completely abandoned his offensive philosphy, decided to focus on ball control and running the football, and changed quarterbacks. If he doesn’t do this, the Ravens don’t win the Super Bowl. After the great purge of 2002, he was a able to piece together the remants and produced a team that competed for a playoff berth in 2002 and won the division in 2003. He consistently allowed himself to be a media target in order to deflect attention from his team. That’s called great leadership folks. Yes, Billick made mistakes and it was time for him to go after 2007. However, Raven fans should be grateful to what he gave us. And he should be in the Ravens Ring of Honor too.

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