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In defense of Billick's offensive offenses

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
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    By Jerry Magee

    November 24, 2007
    Pre-Tom Brady, there were the 1998 Minnesota Vikings. They could score. They put up 556 points, an NFL record that likely is to endure only until Brady can take a few more snaps for the New England Patriots.

    “The way they're going,” Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick said of the Patriots, “they're going to shoot past that record in no time. You have to marvel at Brady's efficiency. He is closing in on becoming arguably the best quarterback in the history of the league.”
    The '98 Vikings also had a pretty good quarterback, Randall Cunningham. Robert Smith was the team's featured running back. On the outside were Cris Carter and a skinny rookie named Randy Moss, who would score 17 touchdowns. Bringing all this together was Billick, Dennis Green's offensive coordinator, who clearly had a feel for offensive football. A genius for it, some said. Billick would move on to become coach of the Ravens and the NFL began waiting for him to exercise his offensive expertise. The wait continues. Though Billick, a one-time San Diego State coaching lieutenant (under the late Doug Scovil), did win Super Bowl XXXV with Trent Dilfer at quarterback – surely a feat – the Ravens through Billick's nine-season stewardship have had a defensive orientation. This was to be the year the Ravens would instrument an offensive thrust, only it hasn't happened for the team that comes into Qualcomm Stadium tomorrow to engage the Chargers.

    “There are things that happen sometimes in this game that you just can't control,” Billick said concerning how his team, 13-3 a year ago, could be 4-6. “That's not much of an answer. That's not what the fans want to hear. They want you to have the magic pill, the magic route, the magic play. It just doesn't exist.”
    As the Ravens were structured, they were to be more variable, more many-sided than in 2006. To this end, they sacrificed Jamal Lewis, a 245-pound powerhouse of a back, and brought in (from Buffalo) Willis McGahee, whose approach to playing the position is less physical.
    “We had accumulated some talented depth at receiver and at tight end and a certain athleticism in the offensive line that lent itself to a more open game, and that's why we brought Willis in,” Billick said. “Get to the edges. Cut back. Very good out of the backfield.”
    Billick termed Lewis, now a Cleveland property, “an excellent back,” noting, “We made a lot of yards, a lot of hay with Jamal. But we were evolving into a team that would be more multiple. The season started out that way, but then I got wiped out at tight end; I got hurt at wide receiver; I had to play three rookies in my offensive line for about six games. It changed the profile of what we were, and what we still have the same potential to be.
    “We're beginning to get some of the receivers back. The tight ends are still hurt, but going forward, meaning to next year, we've got some good depth at tight end. A 'three wides, two tight ends' is clearly what we'll be in the future, and we just felt Willis fit that better.”
    McGahee has delivered. On the NFL's rushing table, he is No. 3, his 851 rushing yards placing him behind only Adrian Peterson of Minnesota (1,081 yards) and Willie Parker of Pittsburgh (925). But the veteran quarterback Steve McNair, 34, has had to deal with groin and shoulder injuries and now has yielded to Kyle Boller.
    Stability at quarterback is something Billick yearns for, but he has not had it through his years in Baltimore. Run through the names of the quarterbacks who have served Billick: Tony Banks. Scott Mitchell. Stoney Case. Dilfer. Elvis Grbac. Jeff Blake. Anthony Wright. Boller. Not a John Unitas in the bunch.
    “It would be nice to have that stability,” Billick said. “You always look at teams that have that, and you look at it longingly, at guys who have had quarterbacks for a long period of time, sometimes for their entire coaching career. We had that coming into this year, but obviously the injuries to Steve changed that.”
    To Billick, the Chargers are 5-5 for the same reason the Ravens are 4-6. “It comes down to injuries, to inopportune turnovers, to things you don't have any control over,” he said. “The Chargers, in my opinion, are one of the most talented teams in the league. We potentially would have been that, but injuries took a toll. It affects your rhythm. But in this league, you see that. I'm talking about New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, the list goes on and on, teams that felt they were going to be in the upper echelon, and then things happen.”
  2. Zeus

    Zeus BoltTalker

    Nov 21, 2006
    He should just blame Norv Turner for his problems. Same with the Cowboys, Saints, Rams, Dolphins, just about every team who is bad can do that.

    I heard a report that Norv Turner is the cause of global warming, however it has not been confirmed.
  3. Thumper

    Thumper WHS

    Aug 24, 2005
    The Cowboys are bad this season? :icon_huh:
  4. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

    Jul 27, 2007
    I want to blame Norv for everything wrong actually. 911, Global Warming, The Germans Bombing Pearl Harbor (Animal House), gas prices.....:lol:

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