It seems like this blog is turning into cases in which I believe that the majority of so-called experts and fans are wrong about certain players or teams. On the subject of quarterbacks, I think Trent Dilfer was a good, solid quarterback who never got enough credit. He had a winning record overall (58-53). He never played for a great team except the 2000 Ravens, and even then the team didn’t have great wide receivers.
People always said the 2000 Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl despite Dilfer and because of their defense. Unfortunately, this is a label that stuck – that Dilfer just managed the game and that anyone could have won that Super Bowl. If the Ravens defense was so great, why couldn’t they get to another Super Bowl after they let Dilfer go, especially since every year the media says they have a great defense? And the Ravens were 5-3 the first half of that season without Dilfer, including the last four of those games without scoring an offensive touchdown, and 10-1 including playoffs with Dilfer.
Check out what the Washington Post’s Les Carpenter wrote on November 13:
“Through all the winning seasons, through the playoff runs and the Super Bowl season, in which Baltimore’s defense thrived, the team perpetually lacked the one essential piece that kept it from being a dynasty.
It never had the right quarterback.
Suddenly, as the old stars start to fade away and the team builds again with a new coach, that quarterback has arrived.”
I love the way Carpenter puts the middle sentence on its own for emphasis. Great. So Joe Flacco, at 9-5, is already better than Dilfer, who went 10-1 and won a Super Bowl? Let’s not anoint him just yet. Sorry that 10-1 and a Super Bowl win wasn’t good enough for you. You prefer 10-6 (the Ravens’ likely record this year) and a probable first or second round playoff exit. I admit, what Flacco has done so far is impressive, but don’t put him ahead of Dilfer yet.
As far as I’m concerned, I hope that the Ravens never win another Super Bowl. You don’t cut your Super Bowl winning QB in favor of someone (Elvis Grbac) with better stats but less heart and lower leadership skills. Too often, people go for style over substance. (Thank God the Ravens finally got rid of the incredibly pompous and pretentious Brian Billick after the 2007 season). Former Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe said it was a big mistake to let Dilfer go. I’ve never understood the anti-Dilfer sentiment. He started out his career in Tampa Bay and admittedly didn’t play great, but at least he got them to the playoffs – something that neither Steve Young nor Vinnie Testaverde could do in Tampa Bay.
All I know is that none of the Ravens QBs since Dilfer have fared as well, and now they’re starting over with another first round pick. Dilfer went from Seattle to Cleveland to San Francisco, and in each case got passed over in favor of a younger QB who wasn’t as good at the time but seemingly had more potential (Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Frye, and Alex Smith). Only Hasselbeck turned out to be good, and I’m not so sure Dilfer couldn’t have done the same thing if given the chance in that west coast offense.