I have three favorite coaches throughout the sports world: Phil Jackson, Gary Williams, and Brian Billick.
I loved Brian Billick. I love the swagger that he brought to the city of Baltimore. He was the perfect coach for the veteran team that he took to Super Bowl XXXV.
Brian was great with the media. He wasn’t afraid to stick up for his players. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him.
In short, Brian was the man.
But even the best coaches have their faults, and Brian had his. There are several games under Billick’s leadership that the Ravens had no business losing but lost.
One thing about current Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is that this guy does not let his team lose games that they shouldn’t lose. The only game that comes to mind that a Harbaugh coached Ravens team has lost when they shouldn’t have was week two at Cincinnati last season. And even then, Joe Flacco threw four interceptions, and it was the home opener of a division rival. Not an easy challenge, especially when the Ravens historically struggle against Cincinnati and their cover 2 defense.
In all other cases, Harbs has had his team ready to play from the start, and they have brought intensity and focus week in and week out, home or road.
Harbaugh has a strategy of racking up win after win after win. He’s told his team this week that the win against Pittsburgh means nothing if they back it up with a loss at Tennessee. Harbaugh sets a win goal for his team, and stresses to them that a win at Tennessee means just as much as a win against Pittsburgh or the Colts.
That’s why, as a Ravens fan, I’m not too worried about the game on Sunday.
Normally I would be. In most cases, I’d tell myself that the Ravens are going to play a team with a very experienced and winning quarterback, a very good WR, and one of the top RB’s in football, on the road in their home opener. It is also Mike Munchak’s first home game as head coach of the Titans.
Often times, magical things happen for teams in their home openers. The Titans aren’t complete turds. They have some good players and a solid foundation.
If Brian Billick was still the coach, I’d be a little more concerned about this game. I really would. And again, that is less of a knock on Brian and more of a complement to John Harbaugh.
Harbaugh can be difficult at times. He often makes decisions that confuse us.
But one thing is for sure…
John Harbaugh wins the games that he’s supposed to win.
End of story.
I expect history to repeat itself on Sunday.