The day after the close of the NFL regular season is joking referred to in league offices as “Black Monday” because of the job changes which always seem to come on that day. Surprisingly, it extended to 1 Winning Drive when Brian Billick was shown the door today.
I was part of the front office staff of the Saints when Jim Haslett was let go after the 2005 season and when Jim Mora was released from his contract in Atlanta just a year ago. When a coaching change occurs, there is both a sense of chaos and a sense of dread in the offices much like the movie, “Dead Man Walking.”
People are walking on eggshells in the office. If coaches thought they were safe based on inside info, the shock coming from each assistant coach’s office has to be thick. Staffers don’t know what to say to a guy who just unexpectedly lost his job and is still trying to process the info. No one knows where the ax will fall next and there is a lot of idle gossip and rumors.
The questions of the day are: Who did Steve Bisciotti listen to in the end? Was it his own internal feel as to what he felt was the best course of action? Did Ozzie Newsome agree to it, or did Bisciotti made the decision on his own going over the measured advice of the highest-ranking football official in the organization? Was it the voices of the players, who are looking out for their personal interests, not the club’s? Who or what ultimately tipped the scales in favor of a decision in which Bisciotti said to the Sun: “I can’t explain to you how tough a decision it is. It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make.”?
The question of who will be the Ravens’ next coach is for tomorrow. Today is for Bisciotti to talk about the whys and hows of today’s decision when he speaks to the media and ultimately — Ravens fans everywhere.