Chapter 1: Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss

January 12, 2018 | Nestor Aparicio

led the team to a 13-3 record just 11 months earlier.

Billick, whose self-parodied egotistical, arrogant and large personality, was now on the street with more money in his pocket than anyone in the history of the league with a terminated contract.

Such is life in the NFL. You’ve heard it before: NFL stands for “Not For Long.”

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had made the most difficult – and expensive – decision of his brief ownership tenure in Baltimore after taking over for Art Modell in a 1999 sale that took five years to fully execute.

Now, to begin the 2008 calendar year and season, finally Bisciotti could hire his own coach, picked from scratch and molded by his ethics, policies, and vision.

Bisciotti’s entire corporate background and fortune were built by finding good people. His company, Aerotek, outsourced personnel in the technical & engineering industry and he built a $2 billion empire by knowing whom to hire. In 1999, he purchased a minority share of the Baltimore Ravens from financially struggling Art Modell after the move from Cleveland proved more costly and burdensome for one of the long-time patriarchs of the modern-day NFL, who bought the Cleveland Browns for $3 million in 1961. The sale price was $600 million but Bisciotti gave the Modells $275 million at the closing in 1999, which allowed the team to move out of debt and into the market for better football players.

Bisciotti’s investment directly affected the Ravens ability to recruit and keep the likes of Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson, Michael McCrary and others during the 2001 Super Bowl XXXV run headed by deposed head coach Brian Billick.

Bisciotti took full control of the Ravens in 2004 and immediately named Dick Cass, a close confidant of Jerry Jones and the man who did numerous sales transactions in the NFL involving the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins to replace David Modell, the son of Art Modell, who had grown from a ball boy in Cleveland in the 1970’s into the team’s President when the Ravens won the 2001 Super Bowl in Tampa.

In December 2008, Bisciotti directed the Ravens P.R. staff to inform the media early in the month that Billick was “safe” even though it was clear from midseason that the team’s 4-2 start was disintegrating amidst a sea of defensive injuries and an ugly string of losses to AFC North rivals in November. Billick’s fate might’ve changed forever in December when the Ravens went to Miami and lost a humiliating overtime game to a winless Dolphins team lead by