Updated at 10:45 Monday night…
Brian Billick announced to the media at today’s weekly press conference that he will return as Head Coach in 2008.
Or did he?
As I do most Monday nights, I went back and watched Brian’s press conference on the Ravens web-site a while ago to once again listen to some of the points he made during his 12-minute discussion earlier today.
When you’re sitting there – as I was today – you don’t always have the chance to digest everything that is said…the questions are rapid fire, Brian chooses his words and responses very carefully and, generally, most times nothing earth shattering comes out of any of Monday gatherings.
Anyway, about halfway through the press conference, our own Casey Willett asked Brian about coaching the rest of the season with so many question marks about the makeup of the ’08 team.
Billick went into an explanation about bringing players back, players fighting for jobs, etc. and then said, at one point in that discussion, "I’m going to be back".
Everyone in the room heard the same thing. "I’m going to be back." Jamison Hensley of The Sun and Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times are two writers I know of for certain who have published stories tonight contending that Billick said today, "I’m going to be back" (in 2008). That’s certainly what I heard as well and blogged as such (the content of that remains unedited below).
Here’s where I’m going to throw the red challenge flag tonight.
I think – upon review of the press conference at Baltimore Ravens.com – that Billick was merely alluding to the fact that everyone wants to do well late in the season in order to justify their own position for the following season…"I’m going to be back".
The Ravens have been privately telling notable national media members for the last couple of weeks that Brian Billick WILL be back as the team’s head coach in ’08. Already, Peter King (SI.com), Adam Schefter (NFL Network) and Chris Mortensen (ESPN) have reported that in the last few weeks. A number of local media people – including myself – have also reported that too.
So, it wasn’t a great surprise to me today when he talked about ending this season and moving ahead to 2008 and saying, "I’m going to be back." It wasn’t news to me.
But I don’t think Brian was "reporting" that today. Or, at the very least, I think the whole press conference should be reviewed in order to clarify his response.
If you listen to the replay of the press conference, Brian is involved in a rather lengthy sentence about players wanting to finish the season playing well – he then takes a discernable pause – and says, "And I’m going to be back."
I’m not 100% certain he was saying "I’m going to be back" in reference to his coaching role in ’08 or if he was merely making a conclusion-statement to his answer/thought on players playing hard in the final games and what it could mean to them in 2008.
I’m not sure what I heard or saw. So I’m challenging the whole damn thing.
The red flag is out. I’ve listened to it three times now and I’m not 100% sure Brian really said, "I’m going to be back" in the way we all might have first believed he did.
I need to get under the hood and see what they say upstairs! lol
Original blog is below:
Brian Billick announced to the media at today’s weekly press conference that he will return as head coach in 2008.
He did not rule out bringing in someone to coordinate the team’s offense and call the plays in ’08, saying, "we’ll look at that at the end of the season as part of our typical staff review and if we feel that’s in the best interest of the team going forward, we’ll make the appropriate changes."
Billick also today confirmed that Kyle Boller will start this Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. A source at Owings Mills told me the Ravens have no plans to start Troy Smith in any of the remaining three games unless Boller suffers an injury that prohibits him from starting. Billick did mention during the press conference that Smith could see action in the remaining games "if the circumstances allow for it."