Terry Bradshaw has not always been considered a smart guy, but he was ON THE MONEY last night. You see, when it comes down to it, the last 9 seasons have been defined be the fact that Brian Billick came to the Baltimore Ravens as an offensive guru and has failed to do anything with his offense since getting here.
I can’t believe I’m saying this. I mean, I’ve heard just about everyone else in the free world say it, but I’ve just always had the same explanations as Brian Billick and those inside the organization have given us.
I mean, Brian didn’t have a great quarterback.
Then he didn’t have a healthy Jamal Lewis.
Then all of the veterans were purged as salary cap casualties.
Then he needed time to develop a mid-round QB who showed some potential.
Then he realized THAT QB wouldn’t be enough, he needed HIS QB to develop.
Then he didn’t have a playmaker at Wide Receiver.
Then his quarterback got injured.
Then there were O-Line issues.
Then his quarterback needed a former Super Bowl head coach to mentor him 1 on 1.
Then he had the wrong guy calling plays.
Then he realized his QB never had the chance to learn under a veteran, so one needed to be brought in to both teach AND play; while he continued to work with HIS QB.
Then he STILL had the wrong guy calling plays.
Then his running game wasn’t explosive enough.
Then he STILL needed more help on the O-Line.
Then his veteran QB got injured.
Then his O-Line got injured.
Then he said someone else was calling the plays, and that guy was the wrong guy too.
Then there was Monday night.
And throughout all of that, there was Brian reminding us to “trust him.”
At this point, it’s just impossible for Brian Billick to regain HIS swagger amongst the players in this locker room, and amongst those who play against him. Even an embattled Marvin Lewis must be salivating for the opportunity to sweep the Ravens this weekend. I’d like to say the Ravens have hit rock bottom, but there’s a chance the Dolphins could beat this team for their only win of the season-it’s not like the Ravens exactly overwhelmed the lowly Rams. Billick cannot solve this problem by simply hiring a new offensive coordinator either. The respect is gone. There will be more said this week about the next head coach of the Ravens standing on the opposite sideline next week (Lewis) than I can explain here. And frankly, Lewis might not even be the solution. This team has played under the Billick regime, and may need a complete change of character to regain its identity next season. (Hey, it worked for the Steelers this year, right?)
This team cannot salvage anything this season, because they don’t have the personnel to even TRY to salvage anything. Tonight’s game might not have been so bad had Mac and Samari Rolle been on the field, but neither of them were going to be under center or anchoring the O-Line; so they could have only helped so much. This season IS lost, and will be painful to watch play out over the next few weeks, as the Ravens will steal 2-3 wins and make us think that they are still playing for something at Christmas.
The Ravens don’t have to make a decision as to whether they want to win now or win in the future anymore. They have to try to do both. Of course, they could have tried to do both a few years ago when they decided to pursue a quarterback, but Drew Brees wanted too much money. There was also the option that they could have both signed a veteran AND drafted a new QB, since Kyle Boller was already a failure. But instead, we were told that Boller still had a future with this team, and he was given an extension. Sorry, I know I said that about A THOUSAND times two years ago, but I can understand why no one listened to me then.
You see, there’s a funny thing about quarterbacks. Most of the good ones I’ve seen in my day were capable of throwing a forward pass. Unfortunately, the two on this roster are completely incapable of doing that, OR they just haven’t been informed that passes caught on one bounce are not considered legal forward passes in the National Football League.
There’s nothing else to be said. Brian Billick has had his time to show something similar to a capable offense. He’s never done it. We’ve all trusted. We’ve all listened to the reasons, but we can’t do it anymore. There has to be a new direction. I’ll still be watching next Sunday (sorry CBS-I know you thought this game would be more important when you scheduled it for 4pm) and every week after that. When I think about it, maybe Monday Night’s debacle needed to happen. Hopefully, Steve Bisciotti will look at his friend Brian and say “I’m sorry buddy; we can’t just trust you anymore.”
Let’s see what everyone else has to say…
The AP’s Alan Robinson recaps the beat-down
The Official Site tracks the debacle
The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says ‘loss is worst of Billick era’
The Sun’s Sheil Kapadia asks a lot of dreary questions
The Sun’s Sheil Kapadia says no one was picking the Ravens anyway
The Sun’s Edward Lee says the CBs were the captains
The Sun’s Edward Lee says the Ravens CBs might have been captains, but it didn’t help
The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Todd Heap was out
The Sun’s Mike Preston had some SERIOUSLY scathing grades for the Ravens (Can anyone disagree?)
The Sun’s David Steele says the Ravens are WORSE than we thought they were
The Sun’s Don Markus says the woeful Bengals are next
Aaron Wilson re-lives the ‘nightmare’
ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli says Steelers wanted ‘revenge’
CBS Sports’ Clark Judge says Big Ben ‘is back’
The Sporting News doesn’t give Ravens much hope to make a run
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown recaps a big win for Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Mike Prisuta kinda has a thing for Big Ben
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s John Harris kinda has a thing for James Harrison
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Scott Brown recaps milestones Big Ben hit
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette calls Harrison and Big Ben ‘studs’
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette recaps Steelers’ win
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac says James Harrison carved out a piece of history
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac was pretty impressed by the Steelers (As was I!)
Washington Post’s Camille Powell recaps the loss
The Examiner’s Matt Palmer says Ravens were ‘crushed’
The Examiner’s Tony Giro thinks ‘enough is enough’
Steelers’ Official Site’s Teresa Varley recaps their big win
WNST’s Bob Haynie called the 1st half a ‘disaster’
WNST’s Nestor Aparicio wasn’t much impressed by the Ravens
WNST’s Glenn Clark (once voted “God’s Gift to us all”) bangs the Troy Smith drum (If I didn’t, someone else would!)
Pro Football Talk’s game blog was actually pretty humorous
Ravens Roost’s Mike Zoran wrote this team’s obituary at halftime
Baltimore Beatdown’s “Rexx” can’t quite put it all into words
Steel City Insider’s Dale Lolley says Steelers got ‘payback’
Fanhouse’s JJ Cooper says Steeler ‘bullies are back’
Fanhouse’s Josh Alper probably wasn’t surprised to see Ravens drop the ball
Fanhouse’s Ryan Wilson looks back on a touching story about a Steelers fan
Fanhouse’s JJ Cooper puts Harrison and Big Ben on his “All 75th Anniversary GAME” team
Fanhouse’s JJ Cooper says last night’s game ‘meant everything’ to the Steelers
Just in case you’re interested-FireBrianBillick.com is already taken, FireBillick.com is parked, BrianBillickMustGo.com is available, Billickmustgo.com is also available, FireCoachBillick.com is under construction, CoachBillickMustGo.com is available
The Official Site offers a full release of Maryland-Concordia notes
The Sun’s Heather Dinich offers some info on Concordia
The Sun’s Don Markus says James Gist is ‘coming of age’
The Official Site offers notes for Maryland-Boston College
The Official Site offers a full release of Maryland-BC notes
The Official Site announces Maryland-FSU for noon on Lincoln Financial/Raycom
Boston College’s Official Site offers a full release of BC-Maryland notes
The Diamondback’s Andrew Zuckerman says errors did the Terps in against Carolina
The Diamondback’s Geremy Bass doesn’t want Ralph pulling double duty anymore
Terrapin Times’ Chris King looks at a two sport recruit (must subscribe)
Terrapin Times’ Dan Painter looks at SOPHOMORE RECRUIT (no really) Tyler Thornton (must subscribe)
Terrapin Times’ Mark Clem says football commit Demetrius Hartsfield visited last week (must subscribe)
Turtle Sports Report’s Jeff Ermann wonders if star WR recruit Kerry Boykins is still solid with the Terps (must subscribe)
The Sun’s Heather Dinich announces she’s leaving the Sun for a job at ESPN.com
The Sun’s Matt Bracken looks at the weekend some commits had
Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says not many people want to see Terps on TV
Finally some (POTENTIALLY) good news! Washington Times’ Patrick Stevens says Terp-killer Jolann Dunbar might miss Saturday’s game
Terrapin Stats gives us a Maryland-BC history lesson
The Football Writers Association of America names Navy National Team of the week
The Official Site announces Governor O’Malley declares November “Navy Football Month”
The Official Site offers notes for Navy-North Texas
The Official Site offers a full release of Navy-North Texas Notes
Go Mids’ Matt Zemek says Navy must follow up big Notre Dame Win (must subscribe)
Go Mids’ David Ausiello says it will now be even tougher to keep Paul Johnson at Navy (didn’t someone else already say that?-ME)
Annapolis Capital’s Bill Wagner says buzz remains from Navy’s win
Washington Post’s Christian Swezey says Mids are ‘rock stars’
Washington Post’s John Feinstein says Navy’s win was a ‘miracle’
The Sun’s Justin Fenton looks at the day off the Mids earned for the Academy
Fanhouse’s Tom Fornelli looks at “Party Monday” in Nap-Town
Fanhouse’s John Radcliff honors Notre Dame in song following the Navy loss
The Examiner’s Ron Snyder says Navy is ‘trying to remain focused’
The Official Site previews Towson-Villanova
The Examiner’s Dave Carey profiles Tigers’ Forward Rodney Spruill
The Official Site announces Chad Simpson named MEAC Player of the Week
The Sun’s Ken Murray says Bears want to make history
The Official Site looks at Billy Lange’s conversation at an elementary schoolMora
The Official Site’s Spencer Fordin thinks Melvin Mora WILL be in Baltimore next season, but Billy Rowell won’t
The Sun’s Roch Kubatko doesn’t think anyone will take Jay Gibbons and his contract
The Sun’s Roch Kubatko REALLY doesn’t think Miguel Tejada will be back
The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says Dave Jauss will be bench coach (YEEE-AAA-HHH!!!!)
Camden Chat’s Scott Christ remembers Anna Benson in his photo of the day
Oriole Magic’s Anthony Amobi previews Andy MacPhail’s role at GM meetings
Oriole Post’s “Maryland Orioles Fan” looks at MacPhail in GM Meetings at Cal’s trip to Asia
The Examiner’s Mike Peters checks in on 3-0 Blast
The AP’s Beth Harris looks at Michael Phelps’ path to Beijing
The Examiner’s Len Lazarick says Senator Ulysses Currie thinks O’Malley has enough votes to pass slots ban
The Examiner’s Aaron Cahall says the state needs more than slots to save Horse Racing
The Sun’s Andrew Green says Mike Miller won’t block slots bill
SOME QUICK THOUGHTS:
-Do you think that every time James Harrison made a tackle last night, he was thinking about being cut from the Ravens practice squad in 2003? This team hasn’t fared particularly well against former Ravens this season, huh?
-As always, when everything else is going terribly, we can only hope for Maryland Basketball to pick our spirits up. This team is going to be better than they are ranked in the pre-season, trust me on this. Go out and see them Wednesday, this weekend, or as much as possible. It may take them a few weeks to get things together-but this group has the CHANCE to develop into a special team in the future.
-VERY sorry to hear that Heather Dinich is leaving The Sun. She wasn’t always the most popular amongst Terps fans, but she was certainly one of the hardest working beat writers I’ve ever been around, and she was honest at all times; almost to a fault. She will be missed, and I wish her nothing but the best at ESPN. I guess THAT’s what they’re doing with Dan Patrick’s salary, huh? Don’t forget, the “A” in Heather A. Dinich stands for “adorable” of course.
-Bench Coach Dave Jauss, huh? Nothing like bringing Dave Jauss to the Yard to inspire thoughts of the Oriole Way, huh? I understand that Andy MacPhail is trying to distance himself from recent Orioles history, and I don’t know NEARLY enough about Jauss to make a fair judgment here. However, I’ve always thought that the bench coach should be the guy with the most spirit, the guy who can take over as Manager as soon as necessary. Hopefully Jauss is that guy.
-Interested in Roch’s thoughts on Tejada. I know the Birds were trying to trade him, but his comments make me think the Birds will pretty much just take anything for him. I don’t like the sounds of that.
Talk to you tomorrow. (I promise, no matter what you saw on ESPN last night, tomorrow is still coming!)