Here’s NFL Network analyst and former Ravens coach Brian Billick on Wednesday:
You’ll dismiss this as “Billick just trashing the Browns again” but seriously…look at schedule & find a single win. You can’t do it!
— Brian Billick (@CoachBillick) September 7, 2016
Put another way: Billick seems to be saying that the Browns will be hard-pressed to win a single game in 2016, right? Nope, at least to hear Billick explain it — but only after Browns coach Hue Jackson called the remarks “unfair.”
“I never said they were going 0-16,” Billick said Thursday on CBS Sports Radio’s 92.3 The Fan. “I would never predict anybody to go 0-16 or 16-0. It’s statistically improbable. They’re going to be an underdog in any of these games, in my opinion, and it’s going to be a tough road. …
“It’s unfortunate that Hue even has to address it,” Billick continued. “Having been in that role, I realize we’re back in first grade, we’re all 6 years old and someone goes [to ask for his comment].”
To recap: Billick never explicitly said the Browns would go winless in ’16, a point he reiterated one last time.
“That’s not what I said and Hue knows that. I’ve got Hue’s respect. And I think [Browns defensive coordinator] Ray Horton is one of the next head coaches in this league. Unfortunately for Hue and Ray, they just don’t have a lot of players right now,” Billick said.
“I would never predict anybody to go 0-16 or 16-0. It’s statistically improbable. They’re going to be an underdog in any of these games, in my opinion, and it’s going to be a tough road.”Brian Billick
And he’s not wrong about the Browns lacking talented players. But it’s also a stretch for Billick to suggest the media twisted his words when he tweets, “look at schedule and find a single win — you can’t do it!” And in another radio interview continued that same line of thinking.
“And you go through their schedule, that’s a tough one,” Billick told CBS Sports Radio’s 94WIP Morning Show on Thursday. “I don’t know — you look at the schedule, they likely could be the underdog in every single game. They’re playing their first five of seven on the road. So, if it starts cascading that way — and I have nothing personal against the Cleveland Browns. They’re clearly a team that has a long way to go.”
Then he added: “They’ve got Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill running the front office because they think they’re going to ‘Moneyball’ their way to this.”
Presumably, Billick is referring to Paul DePodesta and Sashi Brown. DePodesta, the former Major League Baseball general manager, was named the Browns’ chief strategy officer this offseaon. And Brown is the Browns’ Harvard-educated executive VP of football operations.
“OK, that’s fine, we’ll see,” Billick continued, referring to adding DePodesta and Brown to the front office. “But they’re a long way from this happening and I don’t mean it disrespectfully, I don’t see a game — right now, not withstanding injury — that I would bet on them winning. And I will put a small wager on the fact, that even at home, I think they’ll likely be an underdog in every game this season.”
So there you have it: Billick thinks the Browns don’t have the players to compete, sounds skeptical about the “Moneyball” approach, and is willing to bet that the team will be an underdog every week for the next four months.
Source: CBS Sports / Brian Billick: Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill run the Browns’ front office