Super Bowl: BYU product Brian Billick enjoying Ravens' success
New Orleans • This week could be awkward for Brian Billick, considering how the coach who replaced him in Baltimore John Harbaugh has brought the Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII.
Instead, Billick is viewing himself more as the coach of the Ravens' only championship team to date and less as the guy who was fired after missing the playoffs in 2007. It helped that the nature of questions during an interview session Tuesday with NFL Network analysts for the Super Bowl (Billick works primarily for FOX Sports) focused on that 2000 championship season, particularly Billick's memories of linebacker Ray Lewis.
A former BYU tight end and Utah State assistant coach, Billick coached the Baltimore team that registered four shutouts in 2000. Preparing for a second meeting with Cleveland, the Ravens fully expected to blank the Browns, only to allow a touchdown on the opening drive.
As the defense came off the field, Billick said, "Ray looks at me and says, 'Don't say a thing. I got it.' "
Even counting that drive, Billick accurately recalled that Cleveland posted only 112 total yards in a 44-7 loss.
Making a change
There's a precedent for Harbaugh firing offensive coordinator Cam Cameron in the middle of the season. Billick did the same thing to former University of Utah coach Jim Fassel in 2006, except that he took over the play-calling himself. The Ravens finished 13-3, although they lost to Indianapolis in the AFC divisional playoffs.
"John Harbaugh and I were sounding boards for each other," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. "This is something we talked about for a number of weeks. I did have the background that I went through when Brian Billick let Jim Fassel go. So I knew what questions to ask and what we needed to do."
Moss' role growing
Veteran receiver Randy Moss caught only 28 passes during the regular season, but he played a big role in San Francisco's rally to beat Atlanta in the NFC championship game with three receptions for 46 yards.
Vernon Davis, the 49ers' tight end, endorses Moss. "I think that people view him the wrong way," Davis said. "He's a terrific guy in the locker room. He's funny, he's energetic, and he'll always put a smile on your face, and a lot of people don't know that about him."