Coaching Issues Abound

I could probably wear off the letters on my keyboard on this topic. The recent comments by Ray Lewis on his weekly radio show at his BBQ restaurant only add fuel to the fire. However, don't blame Ray, as he's just a player saying the same things that most fans and other football pundits have been saying since the season opening loss in Cincinnati. To see the same playcalling issues in week 7 that cost us the game in week 1 was extremely frustrating and underscores the big issue that has caused this team to rank among the bottom dwellers offensively for the majority of Brian Billick's tenure as Ravens Head Coach. He has always deflected the "offensive guru" title that followed him from Minnesota. However, after firing friend and offensive coordinator Jim Fassel, who had replaced previous offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, and taking over play calling repsonsibilities, there has been not only no improvement, but the errors in judgement seem even more obvious than ever.

If you wanted to give Billick a mulligan for not running the ball in the Cincy game when it was the obvious choice, fine. However, when he didn't run at all in the Buffalo game with a second, third and then fourth and one yard needed to continue what should have been the game-winning drive, you had to have been going crazy on your sofa yelling at the TV, the kids, wife, dogs, birds, plants, walls....whew (sorry). You get my drift. What it shows to me is that perhaps all along Billick has actually believed all the hype about his offensive prowess and thinks he knows more than anyone else. Perhaps if he had a younger Randall Cunningham or even a healthy Brad Johnson this might have not been questioned quite as much. However, with a shaky, inaccurate Kyle Boller and a slower, aging Steve McNair, it just wasn't going to work. All season long, Billick has abandoned the run when it appeared that Willis McGahee was beginning to wear down the defense. Running would not only prolong the drives, but also run precious time off the clock to preserve the leads the Ravens enjoyed at the time. Time after time, Billick eshewed the obvious because he thought he could catch the defense off guard and get a big play out of it. Most, if not all the time, it failed. Having Kyle Boller risk a fourth down pass throwing to Musa Smith will never be worth the risk. Peyton to Addai or Rivers to Tomlinson, perhaps. Boller to Smith, never! No offense, but well,... no offense. This team needs to focus on what it does best. They spent over $40 million for McGahee, Billick should run him until his tongue is hanging out the side of his mouth.

When Ray Lewis' frustration level reached that of the fans, he just said what we have all been yelling in the stands or at the TV all season. Listen up, Brian, put Rick Neuheisel up in the booth and turn over the play calling, as you certainly can't fire yourself like you did to the two ther coordinators. However, if things don't improve, owner Steve Biscotti will do it for you!

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