Brian Billick Talks About The BucsNovember 4th, 2009
Super Bowl-winning coach, NFL Network and Fox football analyst Brian Billick appeared on “Happy Hour with J.P.” on WQYK-AM 1010 Tuesday. Billick broke down why he felt the Bucs were having a tough time this season and what the future may hold for the Brutal Bucs.
J.P. Peterson: I want to get your take on why the Bucs are struggling so much.
Brian Billick: When you go through a transition where you have a new head coach, a new general manager and you have transitions in personnel and philosophy… just on defense, you had principles in place there for a long, long time with Monte Kiffin. That is a major transition that you just don’t do overnight.
On offense, there are a lot of reasons for it. This is a quarterback-driven league. If you have one you are one of the haves; if you don’t have one you won’t [succeed].
With Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay, it will take a while to find out what kind of a choice that was. This league is a have and have nots.
J.P.: Do you think Freeman, given his pedigree, that the odds are stacked against him? Do you think he can be a franchise quarterback?
Billick: There is no reason he shouldn’t be. But that’s the magical combination of ability and transition into an NFL starter. It’s a crap shoot.
Of the last 46 quarterbacks taken in the first round, only 13 or 14 had any kind of success. Does Josh fall into that category? You hope so. You don’t know until they stand up to the rigors of Sundays.
J.P.: Freeman has the physical ability but how long does it take for a guy who didn’t have many reps? How much can we expect from him?
Billick: You certainly have to look at what is wrapped around him. There’s no reason he can’t but you look at how good Flacco and Ryan were. They had good people wrapped around them. There are other [quarterbacks] who had nothing there who struggled. It’s not an easy equation to figure out.
J.P.: Talking to players and coaches, the defense transitioning from the old Tampa-2 to what they have now, it’s drastically different and personally, it doesn’t fit [the personnel]. How hard is it to make that transition?
Billick: You always try to get the best athletes you can but when you are so engrained in that system and done such a great job and feed the personnel into that system with Monte Kiffin being there… it’s a unique combination of athletes to transition to a different style of play. It is very hard.
Then the question is, what is our style of play and what should we look for? This is the age of free agency and draft choices. There’s no reason it can’t happen quickly.
Again, when you have a first-year coach, a first-year general manager, a new coaching style, when you have all of that layered upon the other, it’s tough.
J.P.: What would be your plan if you were the coach?
Billick: Well, the good thing in today’s NFL — that before free agency, when you were bad, you were bad for a long time. But now, whether it’s scouting or coaching, there has to be a partnership. You have to be unified. There is an understanding it will take time. You look at Cleveland, well, it’s not happening quick enough and they are starting to pull the trigger on people. You have to be more faithful and supportive of your people than that.
Prior to Billick appearing, J.P. had two things to say about the Bucs that Joe found more than interesting.
J.P. thought the hiring of defensive coordinator Jim Bates was a worse move than the hiring of former offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.
“You just can’t change a defense unless you have the personnel to do so,” Peterson said.
Also, Peterson said he’d be more comfortable with either Christian Ponder or Tim Tebow at quarterback for the Bucs this Sunday against Green Bay than Josh Freeman.