Behind the scenes: Fangio assisting Billick

OWINGS MILLS -- In his new role as offensive coordinator, Baltimore Ravens coach Brain Billick will have assistance from a previously unrevealed source: former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Fangio gas previously run defenses for the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts. He has apparently been with the team in an unspecified, behind-the-scenes capacity for some time.

He's not officially listed as a member of the coaching staff, and Billick broached his name for the first time Wednesday after being asked and denying that quarterbacks coach Rick Neuheisel's role will change much after Fassel's departure.
A one-time defensive assistant with the USFL's Baltimore Stars in 1985, Fangio was fired last season by the Texans.
"I think I alluded to it, that's where Vic Fangio will help me out a great deal now to make sure that my attention is where it needs to be at critical times, but it does change subtly because of what I need to do in between series now," Billick said. "The defensive guys are looking forward to it because I won't be chewing on their butts as much."
QUICK HITS: When asked if he felt the team was playing for Billick's job, running back Jamal Lewis replied: "Welcome to my world. Every player in this locker room, every time we go out and make a play, we make a play for our jobs. That's nothing new to us. At the same time, I don't think it's all about his job. I think it's about trying to make this offense work and get things going." … Wide receiver Derrick Mason acknowledged that the offense does hold some culpability for what happened with Fassel, who left amid a power struggle, questions about his work ethic, chemistry with players and whether he was distracted by his ambition to become a head coach again. "Of course, we have something to do with it," Mason said. "Obviously, it's not one man that makes the offense go or makes it stumble." … Cornerback Corey Ivy, who remains out indefinitely after tearing his kidney against Denver, said he doesn't know when or if he'll be cleared by doctors. "I'm feeling better, but it's not up to me," he said. "Yeah, it was scary. I just want to get back on the field." … Safety Dawan Landry (sprained medial collateral ligament) missed portions of team drills and is listed as questionable, but is likely to start. "Dawan looked pretty good," Billick said. "Does it swell up again? Does he get stiff? He looked like he was moving well." ... Backup safety Gerome Sapp is questionable with a thigh injury. … Starting as soon as next week, backup quarterback Kyle Boller will take repetitions with the first team on Fridays with McNair taking the majority of the work on Wednesday and Thursdays. "Kyle is in a tough position where he will get a few more reps, but still has to be ready to work it all even though he may not get actual live reps with everything we're doing," Billick said. Boller threw three touchdowns in relief of McNair against the Panthers, two off deflected passes. Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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