After Coach Billick did a "meet and greet" he spoke for about a half an hour on the state of the team including the new owner Steve Biscotti and his involvement with the league meetings and how the Modells are helping in the transition process. He mentioned the cap and how the Ravens relate, as well as saying that the cap situation should be greatly improved for the 2003 season. The one "scoop" as far as information was concerned was that the Ravens had resigned CB James Trapp. Getting Trapp back is important in my opinion, as he provides veteran leadership to a young core of DB's and he's needed on the "nickel " and "Dime" packages. Most of what Coach Billick said can be read in the other article up here. My impressions are that the Ravens are going to be a young but talented team, that he will have ready to play come game day. I think he realizes that not only does he need to be patient, but I think he was asking the fans to be patient as well.
Coach Billick is a master at motivating young players as well as veterans. If anyone is up to the task its Brian Billick.
After he spoke he opened the floor up for a question and answer session. This was my personal favorite part of the day. Most of the questions from the fans revolved around the status of Chris Redman at QB now that we had signed Jeff Blake, the offensive line, if we could resign Sam Adams and Sam Gash, and Ray Lewis and Peter Boulwares contract status. There was a question or two about our defensive backs. Then I raised my hand.
Never one to hold my tongue or a tough question, I asked the one we've been asking ever since the dawn of the Billick/Cavanaugh era on the message boards, at the games and in the bars while watching on tv. "Will our offense not be so predictable this year?" Well, the air went out of the room as everyone went "woooo". Jeez, you'd have thought I had asked for the combination to Ft. Knox or something. Well of course in his typical way he put me in my place as a fan. He said something to the effect of "in what way are you talking about? You can only run or pass and even a monkey is going to be right 50% of the time". I used Jermaine Lewis in the backfield as an example. I said that last season just about every time Jlew was in the backfield he was going to run the ball and that everyone knew it. I still think he put his coaches spin on the answer with all the stats.
Let's be honest, there is only about one play I can recall where we weren't predictable. That was the wildcard game against the Dolphins where it was a 3rd and 1 and Grbac threw a 45 yd pass to Travis Taylor. I can't think of too many other situations where we were not predictable. Maybe Billick wanted to defend his OC who he thinks highly of (he even said he thought Cavanaugh was Head Coaching material one day. Ponder on that one).
At any rate at the end when Coach Billick was mingling at the bar and was done talking to some other folks, I pulled him aside and said that while I may be critical of some things, that there is NO ONE I'd rather have as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. He said he appreciated that sentiment.
All and all I thought it was pretty cool to drink a brew with my favorite NFL Head Coach!
Till next time…