One of the more entertaining aspects of following the Ravens the past few years has been the on-camera antics of head coach Brian Billick. Say what you will about his decisions on game day, Billick always managed to be entertaining when talking to the press -- something that has earned him more than his fair share of critics.
Now, did things ever reach the Jim Mora level of entertaining? No, but Billick has never been say to say what's on his mind (though in this shot it just looks like he should have had some more oat bran before the game), especially when it would come to defending his players or taking on his detractors in the media.
But things have been different so far this season, as Billick has been getting in and out of post game press conferences like he was running a no huddle offense. Here's what he told Jameson Hensley of the Baltimore Sun:
Billick has decided to put more of his focus on the players and not the press, which was the suggestion of owner Steve Bisciotti this offseason. "I am long-winded and repetitive, guilty as charged. I'm trying to be less of that," Billick said. "I'm trying to keep a certain amount of focus, and I am trying not to waste anybody's time."
Billick has even joked about his new less-volatile persona, referring to it as "the new Billick."
To get a look at the new Billick, visit the multimedia section at BaltimoreRavens.com, and check out his latest press conference. As it turns out, at least so far, the change in attitude has expanded beyond his work with the press. Billick has also been making an extra effort to talk to his players, stressing that he has an open door policy and frequently meeting with players one-on-one to get a better feel of what's going on in his own locker room. So far, it's getting good reviews from both tight end Todd Heap and cornerback Chris McAllister, but from the outside looking in, the Ravens are just a little less exciting. But it looks like Billick and his owner are happy to trade that for a coach focused more on dealing with his players than jousting with his critics.
UPDATE: Now here's the Billick I'm talking about.