Former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick returned to Baltimore on Tuesday night for a special evening with football fans at Dempsey’s Brew Pub & Restaurant at Camden Yards.
Hosted by the Baltimore Sports Legends Museum, the program, dubbed, “Inside the Xs & Os with Brian Billick,” presented by First Choice Loan Services, Inc. highlighted Billick’s coaching career, his Super Bowl XXXV championship season with the Ravens and his current role as an NFL analyst.
Coach Billick provided the crowd with a look into what it was like to be an NFL head coach. He spoke about how he chose the Baltimore Ravens while many other organizations clamored to have the offensive genius he was known to be.
“At the time it was getting heated,” Billick recalled. “It was Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City and San Diego who were in pursuit of me and I promised Art Modell I would meet him face to face before I made a decision and after I met with Art I knew this was the place to be.”
Coach Billick went on to serve as head coach of the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2007. He led the Ravens to their first Super Bowl appearance and victory, as the team defeated the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV.
“I knew we had talent and veteran presence but it really wasn’t until about mid-way through the season that I thought this defense was something special,” said Billick. “I knew we had a chance of winning it all with ball control and if we could get ten points the game was over.”
One player that Billick spoke about throughout the night was linebacker Ray Lewis, describing his passion for the game of football. He remembered one such game against Cleveland where the future hall of famer took over as a defensive leader.
“ Our defense was frothing at the mouth and thinking we are going to get another shutout,” said the coach. “We come out and Cleveland marches 86 yards down the field on us on the first drive to score. So the defense comes off the field and I go out to do my ‘head coaching thing.’ There comes Ray and Rod Woodson and Ray says [to me], “don’t say a thing.” So I made a hard left to the Gatorade thinking ‘Ray will take care of it.’ Ray gets that group on the sideline and – remember, they had 86 yards on the that first drive – the Browns finished with just 112 yards of offense.”
The City of Baltimore and its football fans remain special to Billick to this very day and that’s something he speaks very fondly about.
“I can’t tell you how many fans came up to me after we won the Super Bowl to tell me how much they appreciated us making football relevant again in this town and that is something that resonated with me,” Billick explained.
There were many more great stories shared by Billick on Tuesday night (in fact, there will certainly be more to come from this great Q&A session here on this site).
I encourage anyone who is a fan of sports to take a trip to the Sports Legends Museum as well as the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and understand how special Baltimore is to the world of sports.
For more information about special upcoming events and displays please visit the following link http://www.baberuthmuseum.org/
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