Jason Garrett is gone…so now what?

January 15, 2008 | Nestor Aparicio

Jason Garrett escaped the Bellagio about 20 minutes ago.

He’s no doubt headed to Atlanta, the next stop in the “driving the stakes” up game, which is no doubt being orchestrated by agent David Dunn.

Now, the only question is: Will Steve Bisciotti blink?

We don’t know whether it’s the cash, the years, the power, the job, the wife, the family, the Cowboys, Jerry Jones — but for whatever reason, Jason Garrett left Baltimore today without becoming the Ravens’ head coach.

It appears as though John Harbaugh is “next man up.”

My sources (and I DON’T mean those in Owings Mills), who’ve been calling me all day in one capacity or another, tell me Harbaugh is gonna be a better head coach than Garrett. I’ve had three people tell me that today, all NFL insiders who know all of the interested parties.

Special teams coaches have turned into Bill Cowher, Marty Schottenheimer, etc…you’ll hear all the names if they hire Harbaugh.

But it’s going to be hard to explain to Ravens fans why they wound up with a special teams coach with a year on the defensive side instead of a decorated offensive guy. Rex Ryan, Marvin Lewis and Jim Schwartz would’ve appeared to be fine choices if the Ravens weren’t going for offense.

But I don’t think the Ravens are real concerned with winning the press conference at this point.

Allegedly, when Steve Bisciotti stormed through the facility on New Year’s Eve after Billick’s firing, his whole credo was this: “I’ve gotta win football games!” That’s a DIRECT quote, by the way.

So, if Garrett passes (or maybe when he pulled away today his chance went out the gate with him…who the hell knows what Bisciotti is thinking?) and if Harbaugh wins ballgames, that’ll make today the best thing that NEVER happened.

Either way — whether he accepts the job or not — Jason Garrett and his wife Brill made quite the splash today in Owings Mills for a bunch of bunkered sports reporters. They’ve entered into Ravens lore with today’s visit, one way or another.

So where does the purple brass go from here?

For starters, why don’t they hire a head coach who actually WANTS to be here? A guy that might LOVE Baltimore? A guy who would JUMP at the opportunity? Marvin Lewis? Rex Ryan? Jim Schwartz? Those guys ALL want this job!

And Jason Garrett rolled outta here tonight and Bisciotti was waving goodbye from the porch?

I know if I were Bisciotti — and if Garrett doesn’t call back before breakfast tomorrow, because I would let him sleep on it  –  I’d be onto other pastures.

But that’s just me. I want a guy who KNOWS he wants to be a leader of the Baltimore Ravens. No hesitations. No guesswork. Do you want to lead my team?

To me, that’s a YES/NO kinda thing…if you hesitate, you’ve answered my question.

Brian Billick never hesitated when his time came. I’d hate to think Jason Garrett would walk away from Owings Mills tonight not being convinced one way or another.

And I can’t believe that Bisciotti is low-balling him on money, years, etc. Wouldn’t they have had THAT worked out before he got here?

Then, you either want the job, or you don’t.

We’ll soon find out everything that went down today in Owings Mills.

But there’s no way the Ravens, Steve Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome can feel good about Garrett pulling out of the parking lot. They may try to save face — say they never offered him the job or whatever — but they waited five days for him to be eliminated and jumped on him right away.

He was most certainly “their” guy.

And if, as the reports go, Bisciotti was in love with Garrett (and I have no confirmation on that by the way), tonight must really suck for the wealthiest guy I know.

Bisciotti wanted to get married, and perhaps, Garrett has left him at the altar.

We won’t know for sure for a few days because Ozzie Newsome is off to the East-West game.

Strange days indeed in Owings Mills.

In 24 hours, this could all change, right?

 

 

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