Friday, January 04, 2008

Talking Heads Compare Bisciotti to Angelos

There’s a lot of whining going on about how Steve Bisciotti pulled an Angelos and stuck it to Brian Billick. I think if you pay $600+ million you’ve earned the right to change your mind regarding decisions that impact the welfare of your investment.

Look, let’s face it Billick’s time was over. The team’s effort or lack thereof against the Colts, Dolphins and Seahawks was obvious. He had lost the team. But that aside, wasn’t it clear to everyone who watched the press conference to announce the firing that Bisciotti was very torn? He was torn about a decision to fire a friend, not unlike what Brian Billick had done to Jim Fassel just one season ago.

And just like Billick’s firing of Fassel, Bisciotti did it for the benefit of the team.

Or so he believes.

He’s earned that right just as Billick did.

Maybe Bisciotti wanted to believe that the Ravens could find an offensive coordinator to come and sweep up the debris otherwise known as the Ravens’ offense. But what capable offensive coordinator would move his family to Baltimore knowing that if things didn’t go well, he’d be out on the street again and have to move his family twice within a 12 month span?

Perhaps when that light bulb – that realization struck Bisciotti he changed his mind before it was too late. Time will tell if his change of heart was the right move but my money’s on the top cookie.

Now for those who've championed this silly notion that Bisciotti’s actions were Angelos-esque, please come in from outside your mind!

Do you think Angelos would pay Billick $15 million to sit on his butt down in St. Michael’s for three years? Do you think Angelos would have addressed the media nearly heartbroken? Do you think Angelos would have allowed the assistant coaches to use the warehouse facilities and OPACY to help assist them in finding other employment? Do you think that Angelos would have paid all of the assistants for a season of work that they are no longer obligated to complete?

These talking heads and radio station owners who are accusing Bisciotti of behaving like Angelos need to get over themselves. Seems to me that one such radio station owner has shown a pattern of behavior in the past infinitely closer to Angelos’ behavior than anything Steve Bisciotti has ever done.

NFL rumors are flying like planes in and out of O’Hare and they’ll continue to fly for awhile. One rumor originated on San Francisco coach Mike Nolan’s radio show. Apparently word is that Nolan mentioned Billick as a potential new offensive coordinator for the 49ers. What’s Nolan packing in his pipe these days? Do you think that Brian Billick would swallow enough humble pie to become the coordinator for his former coordinator just two seasons removed? If Billick waits another year, he might be a replacement candidate for Nolan.

I have to wonder if Nolan’s suggestion was a mild back handed slap in the face at his former boss…

Another OC mentioned as a possibility for Nolan is Mike Martz. Some in these parts would like to see Martz in Baltimore. Are you kidding me? Do you know who just assumed Martz’ coordinator responsibilities in Detroit? None other than Jim Colletto! Jim Colletto, the former Ravens offensive line coach who Brian Billick wouldn’t even give a sniff to when he campaigned for the Ravens OC job.

Mike Martz as Ravens’ OC…now that’s funny.

This off season will be immensely more entertaining than the 2007 regular season.
You can bank on that!


Anonymous said...

Tony, it seems like you're bringing a lot of personal baggage into your opinion pieces lately. I don't know the circumstances of Nestor cancelling your show, but you clearly still have problems with him because of that. In other posts, you complain about the undisciplined culture of the team, yet you refuse to include in your criticism Bart Scott, your radio show co-host, who has had undisciplined meltdowns on the field.

In fact, I wonder if it was inside info from Bart that helped lead you to your conclusions about the need to fire Billick. I sincerely hope Bart wasn't one of those who stabbed Brian in the back by chirping to the media about locker room issues, considering all that Brian and that coaching staff have done for him over the years.

Anonymous said...

Spot-on with regard to your take on Steve Bisciotti's heart-felt decision to fire Brian Billick, as well as the Twilight Zone-esque response by the cast and crew at WNST, amongst others.

With regard to Nolan's possible offering of the OC position with the Niners to Billick, I saw it differently. I saw it as Nolan being a stand up guy, and offering someone who helped him out in the past an opportunity to hit the ground running, albeit in a lesser role.

Tony Lombardi said...

To anonymous No. 1...I have been on record here and on the air complimenting and criticizing WNST when I believed it was warranted since our departure. I harbor no ill will towards Nestor...I don't have the time for it really and besides, it has worked out better for both of us since we parted ways.

I am friendly with several who work for that station. If they do something right (and they often do) and I feel compelled to write about it, I will. If they do something wrong...same thing.

I felt compelled to call them out on this one. I disagree with their position 1,000%! I could have lunch with Drew Forrester tomorrow and I would tell him the same. Doesn't mean we can't enjoy the lunch, it's my opinion just as he has is.

As for Bart Scott, he has mentioned to me several times that he is a company guy. He will support whatever leadership the Ravens have. Bart is extremely appreciative of the good fortunes bestowed upon him. I also criticized Bart on the show for his actions and he would tell you the same and respect the fact that he needed to be criticized. He didn't blame anyone but himself for his meltdown.

As for Billick, I concluded that the team needed to fire him after listening to various members of the organization and observing what was happening both on and off the field. That was a hard conclusion to reach because I think Brian is a good man. But his firing was best for the team.

He'll be fine. I wish someone would fire me and give me 15 million as I walk out the door.

Brian has done a lot for the Ravens. He can't do anymore. The Ravens have done a lot for Brian. And they won't do it anymore, nor should they. It's time...

Anonymous said...

To anonymous #1:

The only one responsible for Brian Billick's undoing is Brian Billick himself. The organization gave him nine years to put a competitive offense on the field. He failed. Miserably. Year after year after year. Finally, the owner simply said: "Enough".

And yet, despite not being obligated to pay Brian Billick the $10 million for the final 2 years of his contract, Mr. Bisciotti graciously and generously chose to honor it anyway. As far as I'm concerned, anyone with a brain in his/her head can/should be able to see the full picture quite clearly.

Harryos29 said...

Jan 6, 2008 Harry O 29
Wow, after Reading all the Comments from all of the ANONYMOUS writers, its almost like the Sniping on the Political pages of the Sunpapers ??
I have faith in the RAVENs organization, and feel that whomever they hire will do a good job. Face it, you ain't gonna please everybody.
I've been a baseball Umpire at the high school and metro ball level for 28 years now; fifty percent of the people are always unhappy with your decisions.
Hopefully, Mr. Biscoitti and the Ravens Orgainzation will do better than 50%...lets hope so anyway...
Marty-Ball NOPE. Norv Turner one-upped Marty today with his win over the Titans. Congrats to Norv!
Lets hope we can offer the new Ravens coach Congratulations this time next year, for a Playoff win!

ravcol said...

To anonymous who said:

"The organization gave him (Billick) nine years to put a competitive offense on the field."

What the organization failed to do was give Billick a quality quarterback or offensive line since 2000..that plus all the rest of the offensive foolishness like time-management, play-calling and his inability to adapt to personnel finally did him in. Ozzie deserves half the blame here.

Anonymous said...

To Ravcol:

I agree that Ozzie deserves some of the blame. But it's simply not accurate to perpetuate the false claim that there wasn't the necessary talent here, quarterback or otherwise. Grbac was a Pro Bowler until Billick destroyed him with his insane offense. McNair was good enough before he got caught up in Billick's insane offense. And even go to back to Grbac -- Cunningham was good enough to spell Grbac but Billick was too rigid and inflexible to make the substitution that seemed pretty apparent to the rest of the world. And that blew another possible SB bid for us. Derek Anderson looked a hell of a lot better with the Browns than with the Ravens. So please...don't cop out with the lack of talent crap.

Just like this year with all the "injuries" excuses that some folks are so fond of making. Even WITH all the damn injuries, there were at leasst 3 or 4 games that were lost that had nothing to do with injuries. That would have left us with a 8-8 or 9-7 record, instead of 5-11.

It's the same with the lack of talent. The primary lack was on Brian Billick's part. To a certain extent, Ozzie shares in some of the blame as well. But more so on the ridiculously high contracts doled out to aging vets, than on not bringing in the talent.

That's the way I see it, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Great article, Tony.

Why can't people take the owner at his word when he said "I changed my mind."? Regardless on how he reached the decision, I truly believe he made the right decision. Brian Billick is not a good x's and o's man, period. The locker room was lost and the discipline was sorely lacking. He should have been fired right after winning the Super Bowl, honestly. I am sorry that Steve Bisciotti had to hear that he was being compared to Angelos. All this man wants to do is win and is willing to pay millions to do it! He exercised more patience than a saint.

As far as the local media is concerned, only WNST whined and whined about it. Jay Glazer got the story right; had the story right from Sunday night on. Anita Marks broke the initial story on the polling of the employees. Everyone poo pooed her; but she was right. Brian Billick was indeed in trouble and ESPN 1300 reported it first. That is what ticked off WNST. They felt it was their right to have the story first and because they didn't get it; they felt duped. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk!!

ravcol said...

QB's are generally only as good as the O-line. And, who cut Anderson and allowed him to go to a division rival for nothing..not that he would have amounted to anything here since Billick wouldn't have played him. If we end up paying a big price for Anderson, Ozzie should be strung up along with the Genius. How about 60/40?

Anonymous said...

60/40 Billick/Ozzie? Yeah, I can live with that Ravcol.


(I don't know about stringing anybody up. But 60/40 -- yeah -- that sounds about right to me.)

ravcol said...

Heck, they can string me up as long as I get the same golden parachute..