Ravens making changes for San Diego game?

November 24, 2007 | Drew Forrester

When your team is 4-6 and struggling for a win, let alone a return to the playoff race, teams and their coaching staff will do just about anything to right the ship.

Such is the case with Brian Billick and the Ravens, who today announced several personnel changes in preparation for Sunday’s big road game at San Diego.

Keep in mind that Billick is making these changes only for the Chargers game and will re-evaluate the decisions on a week-to-week basis.

Billick has announced a change at starting quarterback for Sunday, inserting Brian Billick as the team’s signal caller against the Chargers. ”I think this is probably a move that fits in best with what’s been going on relative to the fan’s conceptual assertion that I’m somehow responsible for all the mistakes our quarterback makes during the game,” Head Coach Billick said from San Diego. ”Hearing everyone squawk about the mistakes and how they’re the fault of the coaching staff, I figured I might as well just play quarterback myself and then the fans can legitimately blame me for fumbles, incomplete passes, bad reads and interceptions.”

Billick also announced a change in the special teams unit for Sunday at San Diego, moving Brian Billick into the role as “gunner” on kick-off and punt situations. ”I realize the loss against Cleveland last Sunday contained a number of poor instances of both individual and team tackling and, in fact, our inability to tackle Joshua Cribbs on the final two kickoffs led directly to the short field that enabled Cleveland to kick those two field goals,” Billick stated. ”With that dynamic in mind, and knowing that our fans expect and deserve a winning team, I’m going to insert myself as the lead gunner on all kick-offs and punts on Sunday in San Diego.”

One change that won’t be made until the game actually begins on Sunday in San Diego is particularly interesting. Billick has announced that Brian Billick will personally replace the first player who jumps offsides or is flagged for illegal motion. ”These drastic measures will hopefully keep the players focused and remind them that they are, literally, one play away from sitting on the bench,” Billick explained. ”I figure, if the coaching staff is going to get blamed when a player is flagged for a penalty, we might as well play the position during the game.”

And, finally, Billick has also announced a change in the Ravens defense for Sunday. With All-Pro defensive end Trevor Pryce out for the rest of the season, Billick will insert Brian Billick into the defensive end position on Sunday. ”I think this is a unique opportunity to blend my enthusiasm for the game with the catcalls I get every week from people who say, “Billick has been riding the proverbial coat-tail of that defense since he got here in 1999,” Billick explained. ”If that’s the case, I might as well play for myself and at least one of us is going to get some credit.”

With his new, additional playing roles for Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Billick’s salary on Sunday will be increased by an additional $275,000 (QB), $45,000 (gunner), $150,000 (defensive end) and unknown amount based on what player hops offsides or is guilty of illegal motion.

“If I’m lucky, it will be Ogden who jumps offsides,” Billick said with a laugh.  “I could use another $300,000”.