I am Brian Billick, Super Bowl XXXV Champion, NFLonFOX Analyst, Contributor to FOXsports.com, Analyst for NFL Network & NFL.com. I am also a featured personality on Thuzio.com, through which you can book me for any number of memorable, personal experiences.


Comments: 785 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

coozyorcosie256 karma

Hi Brian thanks for doing this AMA.

How do you feel about the recent trend of the media developing a story around a player, and then proceeding to cover it non stop until it's been beaten to death (Tebow, Te'o, Geno Smith etc.).

Go Ravens!

CoachBillick336 karma

We do tend to wear a good story out don't we. I think with the explosion by way of the number of outlets today, it makes it hard not to overdue a subject given the shear volume of commentary that exist. I don't know that it is going to stop, because every time we tell our producers that we think people are tired of talking something they show us numbers that say people never tire of talking about things like Tebow, Te'o, Bounty Gate....

CoachBillick221 karma

I have to go now. I have enjoyed visiting with you all and will do it again soon. Check out Thuzio.com. Great way to create an event with your favorite coach or player.

bigspur220 karma

In your opinion, are most NFL locker rooms prepared to accept an openly gay athlete?

CoachBillick666 karma

I think they are. A football locker room is different than most if for no other reason just the shear numbers involved. I think a NFL locker room will rally around a player that comes out. It will become very protective of one of their own doing that. However, because of the numbers, there is apt to be a couple of players who have a problem with it. It will be the task of the coach and the organization to help those who do struggle with it recognize that it is them with the problem, not the player who says he is gay.

Somenakedguy207 karma

Do you have any regrets on how you handled the quarterback situation in Baltimore?

CoachBillick590 karma

Always. There are always things you can look back at and say I wish we had done it different or better. I wish we could have developed Kyle Boller into a top flight NFL QB. I wish Elvis Grbac would have come back and let us wrap more talent around him. I wish Trent Dilfer could have finished his career in Baltimore, he deserved that. The list goes on and on

turdferguson1113193 karma

What was the most difficult aspect of transitioning from coaching to broadcasting?

CoachBillick848 karma

Being brief.

cptcliche150 karma

What was your favorite memory in coaching that the general public likely doesn't know about? Thanks for the great years in Baltimore, Coach Billick!

CoachBillick234 karma

There are far too many of these to focus on a single one. Certainly standing atop the podium hold the Lombardi Trophy for the fans in Baltimore, given all they had been through, has to be one of the best.

gofalcons420145 karma

What is it like having a brother in-law who also happens to be a head coach in the NFL? Do you guys discuss football often, or ever?

CoachBillick290 karma

Having Mike Smith for a brother-in-law it great. We love talking about the game and I gain a great deal of insight as to what is going on in the NFL by visiting with him. Better yet, he is really one of the best people you will ever meet.

logically122 karma

Can great coaches win with any set of players or do certain coaches require players skilled in their respective coaching scheme? It seems NFL coaches have very short tenures despite having great coaching records.

CoachBillick311 karma

This game has been, is now and always will be about talent. But, being a career coach I do believe coaching can make a difference. The legendary Bum Phillips said about Hall-of-Famer Don Shula "He can take his and beat yours, or he can take yours and beat his". The key to any coach is adapting your system to fit the talent you have.

Loweded120 karma

Hello Brian! My Name is Zach and I am a huge fan of yours as well as the Ravens. I am 17 years old and recently had to quit playing football after 6 years due to a serious concussion and neck injury. I have coached football in Canada for two years and I am taking on a role of offensive coordinator with the Calgary Bantam Hilltoppers coaching 13-15 year olds. This will be the first time as an OC as I have coached Offensive Line the last few years.

I have a few questions:

  • What is the best piece of advice you could give me going into my first season as OC?

  • Outside of winning the Superbowl, what is the most memorable memory as a coach/player?

  • What was coaching Ray Lewis like?

  • Would you ever return to coaching football?

Thank you so much Brian!

CoachBillick178 karma

Congrats on you new position. You will have a ball. Just have fun and remember you don't always have to call the "right" play. Just don't call the "wrong" one.

JerkinAllTheTime98 karma

Do you want to get back into coaching? Being on the front lines and on the field as opposed to a desk job? ;)

CoachBillick279 karma

My patient line is "they are looking for young and cheap and I am neither." I am enjoying what I am doing know and have no intentions of returning to coach.

dolphan56172 karma

Hi Brian -

What are your thoughts, as an offensive minded coach, on the recent changes in NFL offenses ie the pistol in Washington or the read option in Seattle? Do you think they are sustainable?

CoachBillick166 karma

Offenses will continually evolve in a back and forth "who's got the chalk last" type of battle with defenses. The read option adds an interesting wrinkle for defenses to adapt too, but they will. Until someone wins a championship outside of the pocket, the ability to beat people effectively from the pocket is still the #1 thing in the NFL.

luc_c1171 karma

As rival coaches, did you and Bill Cowher have a different kind of relationship than you had with other coaches?

CoachBillick162 karma

Bill was always great with me. I was kinda of the new kid on the block when I became the HC in Baltimore, and Bill was always very generous towards me. We had a great rivalry with the Steelers but there was always respect.

Longbow9067 karma

Hey Coach! What are your predictions for "most improved team" this season?

CoachBillick187 karma

I picked Kansas City to win the AFC West last year and obviously that did not go well. They have a good core of talent, and Andy Reid has been very strategic about the changes they have made. Denver is probably still the best team in the AFC but KC will make a good run at the playoffs this year.

EastPowdermilk60 karma

Hello coach Billick, it's an honor.

What is it like being a key part of one of the greatest offensive (Vikings setting the scoring record) achievements and one of the greatest defensive (Ravens winning Super Bowl XXXV) achievements in NFL history?

CoachBillick101 karma

To be a part of the all time scoring (offense then Defense) was quite an honor. I had an unbelievable group of talent on both those teams and it was primarily my job to stay out of their way. It is ironic, isn't it, that the success in Minnesota was just the opposite I would have in Baltimore.

Felton1157 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA Brian, I'd love to see you back on the sidelines. Pretty simple question for you but What's one tough lesson that every coach needs to learn in order to be successful?

CoachBillick262 karma

that people don't follow you because of what you say but because of why you say it.

wthomas1151 karma

What is your stance on alleged HGH use throughout the league?

Do you think the league should put tighter testing protocols in place?

CoachBillick93 karma

The league is committed to making sure that not team or player can gain a competitive advantage. HGH is clearly the next task for the league. I would like to see the players union become more of an ally in helping the league deal with this and other issues, rather than always fighting the league on what is good for the game.

brtdud748 karma

SeƱor Billick, what do you think about how people compare teams without elite quarterbacks getting to the Super Bowl to your 2000 Ravens team?

As a 49er fan I heard this all 2011-2012, people saying we didn't need an Aaron Rodgers at quarterback because Alex could ride our defense just like Trent Dilfer did for you guys.

Thanks sir

CoachBillick88 karma

The game has changed a lot since 2000 when we won our Super Bowl. The league is so deep at the QB position, it is hard for me to see a team winning a Super Bowl without really good QB play.

bruce-willis-diehard44 karma

Brian, how do you think the Ravens are going to do this year?

How was it working with Ozzie Newsome?

What influenced your decision to retire?

CoachBillick74 karma

I think the Ravens are going to be just fine. Clearly it is going to be different without Ray and Ed. They have been slowing transitioning to an offensive led team for a while, and now this is clearly Joe Flacco's team. They have lost a lot of good players, but I am not sure any one in the AFC North has gotten any better in the off-season. Maybe Cincinnati.

Sktchy41 karma

As the game slowly starts to favor the offensive side of the ball with rule changes and whatnot. Do you foresee a resurgence on the defensive side of the ball in the future?

CoachBillick67 karma

I am not sure we can put that genie back in the bottle. So many of the changes that favor the offense were done for safety reasons. They can not go back and now say because of the tilt towards offense they are goint to change the rules back.

Heelincal28 karma

Hey Coach!

A few questions:

  1. I've always enjoyed your broadcasts, because I feel like your analysis is top notch. Is it hard trying to strike a balance between doing an in-depth Xs and Os analysis for the dedicated fans and an easy-to-understand analysis that most of the crowd will understand?

  2. You have to build a team from the ground up, and have access to the entire current NFL for your first pick. Who do you pick?

  3. What's the most underrated coaching position? QB coach? O-line?

Thanks for doing this! Huge football fan!

CoachBillick67 karma

It is hard to strike the right balance between being too technical or talking down to your audience. I have a great crew of people that have taught me that it is my job to bring the viewers attention to the most important thing they are seeing on the screen and trying to give it some context as to what is happening. Interestingly, one of the things that does irritate me now is to hear a broadcast over explain the game in an effort to show he knows what he is talking about. Less is better, and that goes against my basic nature.

logically28 karma

What do you miss most about coaching? What do you not miss? Thanks.

CoachBillick56 karma

I miss the day to day relationships with the players and coaches. The challenge of taking on a task of winning in the NFL with a group of guys focused on the same thing. I must say I don't miss the 24/7 365 day grind of being a NFL Head Coach. You go from the season, to free agency, to the combine to the draft, to OTA's and then the season starts again. A season where the HC will not have a single day off from the Beginning of training camp until hopefully the day after the Super Bow.

freder85ico26 karma

Should teams that trade for players, such as Alex Smith, adapt their offensive scheme to match what he eventually became successful in (e.g. Harbaugh)? Do you think he'll have success at KC?

CoachBillick52 karma

You always have to have a system that adapts to your players.