A source within the Ravens organization confirmed to me this afternoon that Brian Billick was, in fact, speaking about PLAYERS returning in 2008 when he said – "And I’m going to be back" during his Monday press conference at Owings Mills.
A number of media outlets – including me, originally, – thought Billick was staking claim to his return in ’08 by saying, "And I’m going to be back". Every newspaper in town and all of the TV personalities reported "Billick will be back" in ’08 last night and today. We all heard the same thing. But what we heard and what was said are apparently not one and the same.
As I wrote last night on WNST.net at 10:45, upon further review of the press conference video tape, it’s very evident that Billick was referring to players who are under contract in ’08 who will look at these last three regular season games as a way of "getting things right" in preparation for ’08.
Although a number of prominent national sports reporters including Peter King (SI.com), Adam Schefter (NFL Network) and Chris Mortensen (ESPN) have reported recently that Billick will, in fact, return for 2008, everyone in Baltimore yesterday THOUGHT we heard Brian Billick say that publicly for the first time.
Alas, it was merely a hiccup on our (the media) part. True, the sentence and the answer he was giving were kind of long-and-winding-road’ish and there was a strange, obvious pause before he said, "And I’m going to be back"…but Ravens officials today confirmed with me that Billick was merely referring to players under contract for ’08 and not his own employment situation.
And that’s what I thought last night when I reviewed the press conference as part of my typical Monday routine.
I had a feeling I was right last night at 10:45 when I posted that "challenge flag" on my original blog.
Now, upon further review and having heard from "the man upstairs" in Owings Mills, the call has been changed, so to speak.
The video evidence is conclusive. At least for me, anyway.