Brian Billick picked on Mike Preston for years. The former Ravens head coach was often criticized by the Baltimore Sun columnist during the latter part of his days with the team and because of that the two had what some would call a strained relationship.
With Billick out of the scene, the controversial Preston is still stirring things up. His column this week received national attention after he requested that the Ravens look at cutting Ray Lewis and Ed Reed’s playing time as they are hurting the team.
Billick joined local sportstalker WNST, which he partly owns, to discuss Preston’s recent opinions.
“What’d Mike make up this time,” Billick sarcastically asked at the beginning of the interview.
“Ray Lewis for a while was — struggled on third down a couple of years ago. He was not as effective as you size up what your needs are particularly when teams spread you out.”
The Super Bowl 35 champion head coach did say that Lewis has looked good in recent seasons. “He played so well in nickel last year,” he responded. “At some point, yeah the physical skills diminish.”
Being on the road with FOX, Billick reiterated that he hasn’t seen a lot of the Ravens games, but thinks highly of the team in doing doing his research. “I think they’re (the Ravens) the best team in the AFC, I think they have the best chance of beating either New Orleans or Green Bay should they get to the Super Bowl.”
The outrage surrounding Preston’s columns has always baffled me. While I may not agree with every word that he writes, I think his arguments are always well supported and thought out and aren’t just the mindless dribble that fans say he publishes.
In this case I actually do agree with Preston. Call me crazy, but Ed Reed’s tackling is suspect with his injuries and Lewis isn’t nearly as mobile as he needs to be on third down. We saw the Ravens go undefeated without Lewis on the field, cutting his playing time certainly won’t hurt.