Not too long ago, Steve Young was talking about the Dallas Cowboys. He said that it appeared there was no fear in their locker room. He went on to recount how, when he was with the San Francisco 49ers in the 1990s, every player knew that mistakes were not tolerated. Playing time would diminish, and if the mistakes continued, the player would disappear.
Interesting concept. Then, last night, I watched the NFL channel’s replay of the Miami Dolphin / New England Patriot game. Now assuredly, on a player by player basis, the Dolphins are the weaker team, especially at the quarterback position. However, I do not believe the gap is as great as it was last year. Then it struck me … maybe this team needs a “jerk” for a coach. Well, what better “jerk” than Brian Billick.
Now lets understand. When I say jerk I mean a coach who takes little bs. A coach who will not be intimidated by others in the AFC East. Someone who has been in the trenches (15 years NFL experience), who has coached difficult players (Randy Moss) and who has won (2000 Super Bowl Champ; 3 other playoff appearances).
To be sure, Billick comes with some caveats. He can truly be a jerk. He has been described as egotistical, arbitrary and insolent. He has been praised and reviled by his players. His time in Baltimore ended poorly and you have to question why he hasn’t been offered or taken a job since.
With all that said, he may be just the man this team needs at this PARTICULAR time in its history. He would certainly change the culture, he could build on the offenses’ momentum and would relish the chance to mentor a young quarterback.
So, as we watch the New York Jets game this Sunday, allow yourself to see Billick underneath the headset. Imagine him screaming at Sean Smith for a missed tackle. Picture him with an arm around Reggie Bush after a touchdown. Think about him exhorting John Jerry to push a little harder on the goal line.
This may just be the right thing.