Sports Outside the Beltway

Why was Neuheisel in Baltimore

The Ravens completed a disappointing 2007, with a 27-21 upset win over the Steelers last night. The win followed the news, by a few days, the offensive co-ordinator Rick Neuheisel was headed back to the college ranks to be head coach at UCLA.

This brings up the question, what the heck has Neusheisel been doing the past 3 years with the Ravens?

David Steele writes:

Neuheisel’s tenure, though, will be a footnote in Ravens history, and as much as he praised the team for giving him a second chance as he left for his new gig at UCLA, he’ll likely view Baltimore as a steppingstone, too. As for the offensive coordinator position he vacated, his replacement will surely have far, far more on his plate than Neuheisel did. He’d better.

Yes it was nice for the Ravens to give Neuheisel the position, but did it benefit the team at all. Neuheisel was originally brought on as quarterbacks coach and yet Kyle Boller seems no closer to being anointed the team’s starting quarterback than he was 3 years ago. Maybe he just doesn’t have the ability.

The offense of the Ravens was not very good in two of the three years. Especially this year. So why didn’t Billick give the play calling duties to Neuheisel when Billick’s play calling didn’t pan out this year?

Look at the expectations Neuheisel brings to his new job:

While programs all across the country are hell-bent on making sure a coaching hire has some ties to the school instead of getting the best possible candidate available, UCLA was able to do both.

“Being in the NFL for the last three years is like going to grad school and I think that will be a great asset to him as he returns to college,” said legendary for NFL and UCLA head coach Dick Vermiel. “I am very excited about this decision.”

He’ll get the quarterbacks and will coach them up so there won’t be another disaster like this year when injuries struck Ben Olson and Pat Cowan. He’ll get the offense moving and will make the Bruins one of the more exciting teams in the Pac 10. He’ll get the wins to make UCLA a powerhouse again. With a .688 winning percentage, he has a decent on-field resume to earn instant credibility, and he isn’t going to ask for, or receive, any sort of a grace period.

I get the impression that the Ravens job benefited Rick Neuheisel. Given the circumstances of his firing from the University of Washington, I can understand giving him a chance. But did Neuheisel get the positions with the Ravens for the Ravens? Or for Neuheisel?

Surely this is one more event that requires some investigation when considering Brian Billick’s future.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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