Before Saturday's playoff game in Denver, I told an old colleague at The Baltimore Sun that Brian Billick would probably never get another shot at coaching if he didn't get hired this year. A day later, news broke that the Eagles interviewed Billick for their head-coaching vacancy.
I've always been shocked that Billick has never gotten a second chance to be an NFL head coach. The knock on the former Ravens coach is that he's arrogant and he failed to develop an offense (and quarterback) in Baltimore. It also hasn't looked good for Billick's résumé that the Ravens have been to the playoffs every year since they fired him in 2007.
But Billick deserves another shot to be a head coach. He won a Super Bowl in 2000 by understanding how to handle veteran players and strong personalities. He turned a losing franchise into a perennial winner. In nine seasons, he had more playoff seasons (four) than losing ones (three).
For some reason, teams have never been interested in Billick. There have been 36 head-coaching jobs filled since Billick got fired, and he's never been a reported finalist for any of them. Don't feel too bad for Billick since he was getting paid by the Ravens up until 2010 and he's got a good gig as a television analyst.
Still, you get a sense that Billick is eager to show he can still coach. That was made clear in 2010, when he chided the Bills for not calling him (Buffalo settled on Chan Gailey).
"Why [Bills general manager Buddy Nix] had not called a coach with a Super Bowl ring, 10 wins a year for nine years, having orchestrated the highest-scoring offense and defense in the history of the league, is a question worth asking," Billick said at the time.
Billick is right. Whether you like him or not, there's no reasonable explanation why Billick hasn't received a second chance while the likes of Gailey, Mike Mularkey and Dick Jauron have.
In other news involving former AFC North coaches, Bill Cowher said he has no plans to coach in the NFL. This comes a few days after the former Steelers coach told Newsday that he probably would come back at some point. Call me crazy, but something tells me Cowher hasn't made up his mind about his future.