Brian Billick: 'It took me until half the season to realize it'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 30, 2013
Brian Billick's Super Bowl came when he went against his own style of coaching.
He came to the Ravens in 1999 with an offensive background, but when he realized he could rely on his defense, going against his past work, that's when the Ravens won it all in the 2000 season, winning their final 11 games.
It takes a lot of trust for a coach to change his perspective. Billick explained his realization on The Tim Brando Show.
"It was a huge adjustment," Billick said. "It wasn't until midseason that I realized it. You come in with a certain pedigree, like most head coaches, and mine was on the offensive side, and the belief that, if you're going to win a Super Bowl, you have to have a certain offensive presence.
"Keep in mind, that was a time we were transitioning out of the Marinos, the Elways, the Aikmans and the Montanas, and we had not yet come into the Brady and Mannings of the group. So there was a void of great quarterback play. It took me until half the season to realize, you know what? This may be the greatest single-season defense in the history of the game. We can win a Super Bowl with this formula: Play great defense, run the ball, don't turn the ball over.
"Now, that's not an ambitious mentality from an offensive guy, but we knew that formula could win then, and we played it all the way to the Super Bowl."
The Ravens have always been about their defense, which separates them from most Super Bowl franchises. Talking about the people in the Ravens organization, Billick credited them for being able to win with different quarterbacks.
"When you look at great coaches in the industry, and there's a lot of them, but one of the guys you come back to is Joe Gibbs. Mainly because he was able to do it with different quarterbacks," Billick said. "Typically you name a coach, and the quarterback comes right to mind. Whether it be Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, Chuck Knoll and Terry Bradshaw, you can go down the list. Joe Gibbs did it with a number of different guys.
"Ozzie Newsome is on the verge, if Baltimore can win a championship, of winning a championship with 12 years in between, with two different coaches and two different quarterbacks. I think that says a lot about the organization and about Ozzie Newsome."_______________
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org