Former coach stays mum on drafting Ryan

April 22, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN REPORTER

As Ravens coach, Brian Billick was heavily criticized for not being able to develop a quarterback.

Four months removed from his firing, Billick wants to stay out of the team's quarterback situation.

In a conference call to promote his involvement with the NFL Network's draft coverage, Billick was noncommittal on whether Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan would be a good fit for the Ravens.

"That's for them to say," Billick said. "I think Matt Ryan is a fine quarterback. I think clearly he'll go in that range [in the draft]. Whether he ends up to be a good quarterback or not, you're going to have to wait a while for that verdict to come in."

The Ravens are expected to take a quarterback in the first or second round, especially after last week's surprise retirement of Steve McNair.

But Billick didn't seem shocked by McNair's announcement.

"I thought Steve could come back and perform very well, but it was going to be a matter of whether Steve wanted to commit to those things that were going to have to happen in the offseason," Billick said. "Clearly for Steve, that was the nature of the decision."

Billick was 85-67 in nine seasons as Ravens coach, winning a Super Bowl in January 2001. He was dismissed by owner Steve Bisciotti a day after the Ravens finished a 5-11 season, the worst record under Billick.

This weekend will mark Billick's debut as a television analyst since being fired. He will join former coach Steve Mariucci and former general manager Charley Casserly in the NFL Network's coverage.

Asked about joining the media after years of taking shots at them, Billick said, "I get to have all the answers and none of the accountability."

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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