Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Billick Cops Out!

Brian Billick would like you to believe that if the Ravens took away four plays where the defense failed (4 plays, 180 yards) the outcome of the Ravens v. Browns may have been different.

What a pathetic cop out!

And if Armando Benitez didn’t give up all those homeruns back in 1997 ALCS the Orioles may have won the World Series that season.

Look, big plays are a part of sports and when you connect on a few you score…you win…you take the lead…and perhaps even sit on it. Perhaps the Browns could have produced more if they didn’t go conservative.

Big plays have been the Achilles’ Heel of the Ravens defense for a few years. That needs to be fixed. Particularly with their offense. It’s no different than a pitcher who throws a great game but then suddenly gives up a three run jack. That one bad pitch changes the game, just as one big play in football can change the game.

Billick’s tap dancing around his red zone play calling inefficiencies is equally as pathetic of an argument as his big play theory. It's another cop out. He claims that they’ve tried it all and has concluded that the answer to their red zonitis is to improve their ability to pound it in.

Look, the Ravens' red zone play calling consists of about five plays: a fade; a lob to the tight end; a swing pass to a running back; an in route short of the sticks and of course pounding it behind Jason Brown. If you know it and I know it, don’t you think opposing defensive coordinators know it? When it’s Ravens’ week, DC’s can take off half the week. What’s to prepare for?

I don’t mind the in route short of the sticks. I just don’t like it on THIRD DOWN!

Billick seems to so easily dismiss the red zone ineptitude and explains it away by saying that Steve McNair has been outstanding moving the football and the chains outside the red zone. Borrowing from a baseball analogy again, isn’t that the same as celebrating a collection of singles even though you can’t deliver an RBI?


Anonymous said...

I think Steve Bisciotti needs to have another heart to heart with Billick. I don't know what he's been looking at from his sideline vantage point, but it obviously isn't the game going on out on the field. If he had been watching, how can he possibly say that McNair has played very, very well the past two weeks???

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29
Steve Biscotti should aim his satliite dish towards the north West...about 400 Miles in the Direction of DETROIT. There is some offense going on up there; with ...of all people at the controls , JOHN KITNA. Twenty Eight points as in "28".. with the Supposdly Mighty Ravens Defense, I'm sure that the Ravens would win more than they lose. I've kept my Eye on the LIONS.. they run a HIGH Risk Offense, but Like I've Emailed LTRS TO TL in the past.... No Gain. Billick needs to come out of his SHELL and Throw the Ball down the field. If we can't score in the Red Zone: Don't go there...score from the 30 or 25....
Harry O
Sykesville, MD Fed up with NON SCORING, period!

Anonymous said...

The entire time Jamal Lewis was here, the Ravens operated a "run-first", pound the rock between the tackles offense. Now that we have Willis McGahee, I for one assumed that we'd still be operating a similar "run-first" offense, albeit with the options to run more single back sets, pitch out and run outside the tackles, and work McGahee more into the passing game. However, after reading a recent article by Aaron Wilson -- which includes comments from Ravens WRs -- it appears as if the Ravens are now running a more traditional West Coast Offense, made up of lots and lots of short, "horizontal" passes, sans the more "vertical" deep threats/bombs that have been noticeably absent, at least when McNair is in.

If that in fact is the case, I can see a definite "QB controversy" brewing -- since McNair is more suited to the horizontal passes, while Boller is more suited to the deeper passes. If the entire offense is now switching gears to become a truer WCO than anything we've seen to date out of the Ravens, it would seem that McNair could arguable be the better QB -- assuming he's healthy -- for that particular role. It has nothing to do with Kyle Boller not being able to run the offense -- it's just that his style is better suited for longer passes. But if Billick is gearing the entire scheme more towards a WCO, it plays more to McNair's strenghts than Boller's.

It might also explain why we're expecting to see more carries by McGahee that we've not been seeing. It's not that the WCO design doesn't use RBs; it's more that the primary focus is passing, not running. I for one was under the impression that McGahee would be the centerpiece of the offense; not Mason, Clayton, & Heap on 5-15 yard passes. In the sense that the WCO uses the pass to open up the run, it would make sense as far as McGahee's numbers are concerned -- he definitely has been able to get to the 100 yard mark on a lot less carries than Lewis used to be able to -- a perfect example being the game against the Browns: McGahee racked up 104 on 14 carries, for a YPC of 7.4. That's totally awesome -- and I was expecting to see MORE of Willis. But if we've somehow totally switched our offensive philosophy around to a WCO design, it would make sense, then, why we're seeing him in a more muted role, and not the one we were expecting based upon all those years of watching Jamal Lewis as our RB. As far as that goes, the key for us would then be to become more effective in the red zone, and not necessarily run Mcgahee more.

In fairness, if this is where the offense is heading, I can't criticize the play calling per se. I think personnel management, game management, and clock management are still valid criticisms. But as far as the "dink/dunk" horizontal passing game goes, that IS a legitimate form of offense (WCO) -- just not one we're used to seeing around here in its true form. We always ran a sort of "hodge-podge" offense -- I think because Lewis kept whining about not getting "enough carries". It's ironic that McGahee racked up 104 yards in the 14 carries Lewis claims he needs to just "get started". Maybe if we re-adjust our expectations to what we're seeing on the field, it'll make more sense and allow us to enjoy what we're seeing a lot more. Personally, that'd be a big help to me -- because I sure haven't been enjoying much of what I've been seeing so far. But looking at it from a "new" perepective, the defense's lapses, and the poor red zone execution seem to be the keys to this season's disappointing performances so far -- along with the aforementioned problems of game/time management, and untimely penalties, and injuries. Just my verbose "2 cents".

Harryos29 said...

Dear VERBOSE Anonymous covered a lot of ground.
Basically, saying what I was attempting to say. We need more consistent play from our QB's, whomever is playing? As a Fan, I still think the Ravens owe those who are laying down $80 bucks to see a game.... SOME MORE FIREWORKS...
harry O 20

Anonymous said...


I'm not interested in "fireworks" -- I'm interested in WHATEVER WORKS -- in terms of increasing our TDs in the Red Zone. That problem has always dogged the Ravens. And unless or until it's fixed, we're going to be a second rate offense, no matter how impressive the stats look. That was one point.

The other point was that if we are, indeed, moving away from what we've been used to seeing here since Jamal Lewis arrived, then we need to change the way we view our offense, and what we expect. There's nothing "wrong" with chewing up yardage 5-15 yards at a time, and getting 100+ yards on 14 carries from our RB.

What IS wrong is getting more FGs than TDs in the Red Zone, turning over the ball, stupid penalties, and defensive meltdowns. If we correct the Red Zone woes, turnovers, stupid penalties, and defensive meltdowns, McNair appears to be as capable of leading this team as Boller, and maybe even vise versa. But WITHOUT fixing the core problems, it really dosn't matter WHO the QB is -- the problems will persist.

So looking at what you wrote and what I wrote, I'm not sure I'm just using more words to say what you've already said.