Despite his worst season as head coach of the Ravens, it looks as if Brian Billick will be returning for a 10th season as the teams head coach in 2008. The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Billick has been told by owner Steve Bisciotti that he will be back to try to pick up the pieces of a team that in 2006 went 13-3 and this season has tanked, going 4-9 after 13 games and in the midst of a franchise-record seven-game losing streak.
One thing that Billick has on his side is the fact he’s had to coach a bruised and battered team all season. The team just put corner Chris McAlister on IR, joining other key team members such as QB Steve McNair and DT Trevor Pryce. McNair may be the biggest question mark heading into 2008, as he has simply shown his age in 2007, hurt all season and when he could play, was not able to generate much offense at all.
The team may have seen its future in their blowout loss to the Colts on Sunday night as former Ohio State Buckeye Troy Smith played quarterback late in the game and did a fairly good job, guiding the team on a TD and taking it in himself. Billick may want to take a long look at Smith as the season gets ready to close, and think about the shot at giving him a chance to start in 2008.
Billick is signed to the team through 2010, and has stated numerous times already when asked that he will be back to coach the team next year. The biggest challenge for Billick will be to shore up the QB spot and the offense as a whole. The Ravens QB’s have combined for 24 turnovers and just 10 TD’s. The coach will be pressed to earn his $5 mil a year salary next season, and if he fails, one would think he’d be shown the door rather quickly for a franchise that is not use to being as bad as they have been in 2007.