Billick breaks ribs in racquetball game

OWINGS MILLS -- Brian Billick is already enduring the insults that goes with losing football games. Now, the Baltimore Ravens coach has a painful injury to add to his woes. During a break from preparations for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Billick broke two ribs Tuesday playing racquetball with assistant secondary coach Dennis Thurman.

"We were playing racquetball and Dennis came up from a shot and whacked me in the ribs," Billick said in a conference call with Jacksonville reporters. "So, I'm having a hell of a time sleeping and having a tough time yelling out at practice. Everything is a whisper, so players don't know what to do."
With the Ravens (2-6) in last place in the AFC North, Billick has been added to the list of head coaches deemed to be on the hot seat by various national publications and Internet sites.

When asked if he expects to coach the Ravens next season, Billick replied: "Those are my expectations. I haven't even thought about that. This isn't about me. I don't mean I don't take the responsibility for it, but I've got my hands full making sure this organization and players stay focused and passionate about what they're doing to worry about my situation."

Billick is under contract for two more seasons after this year with an extension granted by owner Steve Bisciotti that reportedly pays him $4.5 million a year.

"I'm the luckiest coach in the NFL to have the ownership and the management by way of Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass," Billick said. "I couldn't ask for more support and better people to be in this thing with than those guys."

It was a colorful exchange with Billick noting that the Baltimore fans have yet to boo him or toss tomatoes at him despite the underachieving campaign.

"Fortunately, I've got good people around me so I don't have to be looking over my shoulder and be wondering, ‘What does this mean?'" Billick said. "I can focus on how we're going to grow from this and how we're going to come out of it.

"You have to hold on to that perspective. Otherwise, you might as well go get yourself knee-deep into some scotch and call for your mama."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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