BFR Debate: Billick perfect fit for Buffalo

Earlier in the season, Brian Billick rhetorically asked, "Why would anyone want to coach in Buffalo?" Now it appears that he is on the short-list to become the next head coach in Western New York. In Part I of this BFR Debate, analyst Ian Smith argues that Buddy Nix should pull the trigger on the Super Bowl-winning coach. Similarities to the pre-Billick Ravens and pre-Billick Bills abound...

In the eyes of both recently hired general manager Buddy Nix and Buffalo Bills fans alike, there are two specific criteria that the next head coach of the team should have. First, he should be offensive minded. Second, he should be a winner.

Brian Billick fulfills both requirements.

Billick came up through the NFL ranks as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings in the ‘90s. In his final year as coordinator, Billick was the mastermind behind the high-powered West Coast offense that showcased a dangerous Randall Cunningham to Cris Carter-Randy Moss pass attack. The team would go on to a 15-1 record as well as a berth into the NFC Championship game. If not for Gary Anderson's fluke missed field goal, the Vikings would probably have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy soon after.

Billick is more famously known as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens beginning at the turn of the century. In his second season as head coach, Billick made a Super Bowl winner out of an offensive unit filled with odds and ends balanced with a stout defense.

He has won a Super Bowl before, so who is to say that he can't do it again in Buffalo?

Like the Ravens pre-Billick, Buffalo has flashed potential over the past couple of years but has never had it materialized, primarily because of poor personnel decisions. Billick came into Baltimore and made a super team out of what appeared to be underachieving flashes in the pan. The situation in Maryland a decade ago parallels the current situation in Western New York.

The reason why I believe Buddy Nix and the Buffalo Bills organization should hire Billick over the likes of Bill Cowher, Ron Rivera, and any of the Schottenheimers is because of the similarities between the Buffalo Bills now and the Super Bowl-winning Ravens of 2000. And I am just putting this potential hire under the lens of one super season (which frankly, Buffalo would settle for at this point). Let it be known that Billick had an 80-64 record in the regular season, a 5-3 in the post season, and a modern day coaching tree equitable to the legendary Bill Walsh's (Marvin Lewis, Rex Ryan, Mike Smith, and Jack Del Rio to name a few).

Offensively speaking, the 2000 Ravens did not have a franchise quarterback to run the offense, and a year-long quarterback controversy between Trent Dilfer and Tony Banks ensued (Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Brian Brohm anyone?). The Ravens got by with poor QB play thanks to a balanced rushing attack that featured Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes combining for 1,950 yards (Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch). The defense featured a mix of veterans: Rob Burnett (Aaron Schobel), Sam Adams (Marcus Stroud) as well as young talent, including Chris McAllister (Leodis McKelvin) and Ray Lewis (Paul Posluszny?).

Granted, that 2000 Baltimore team was a defensive team first, offensive team second. However, with a Bills defense that was second in the NFL in pass yards, second in interceptions, and fourth-best in pass touchdowns allowed, the offensive-minded Billick has defensive potential to rival his historic defense of 2000.

If he brings in the right assistants and works cordially with Buddy Nix to create a decent offensive line and enhance the atrocious rush defense, then it will not be long until Buffalo makes itself at home in the playoffs year after year and starts competing for a Super Bowl championship.

To me, Buffalo needs to get a coach with an offensive background that has a history of winning. Thusly, if I were in Buddy Nix's shoes, Brian Billick would be the perfect candidate for the job. The Coors Light commercial star certainly fits the (Buffalo) bill.




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