Before Joe Flacco quarterbacked the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory, Dilfer did the same in January 2001. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ravens’ championship in Tampa, Fla., Dilfer is speaking out against his former team — and those who didn’t bring him back for the next season.
Trent Dilfer and the Ravens won Super Bowl 35
The NFL lucked out with the two quarterbacks who will start in Super Bowl 55.
The AFC has been very lucky when it comes to quarterbacks in recent years. From February 2004-19, four quarterbacks started a Super Bowl for an AFC team: Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, and Joe Flacco.
Brady and Manning are universal locks to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Roethlisberger will likely get in, while Flacco will need a great deal of help.
Things weren’t so simple in January 2001. Although Baltimore won seven of Trent Dilfer’s eight starts in 2000, the veteran quarterback only completed 59.3% of his passes for 1,502 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
In the playoffs, Dilfer completed 47.9% of his passes for 590 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception in four starts.
Dilfer is still bitter with the Ravens, nearly 20 years later
Although Trent Dilfer continues to treasure his lone Super Bowl victory, he hasn’t quite forgiven the Baltimore Ravens.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Dilfer admitted the Ravens’ decision not to bring him back still bothers him, nearly 20 years later. Baltimore let Dilfer walk in free agency and signed Kansas City’s Elvis Grbac instead.
“You know, I’ve been through a lot in my life and I try not to be bitter about anything. I’d say that’s one I’m still harboring a little bit of bitterness because of the why. It was so poorly evaluated on their behalf. They knew I was hurt.”
Dilfer told ESPN that he played at 65% to 70% because of a lingering shoulder injury from the 1999 season. Dilfer also had inflammation around the pubic bone and hip flexor muscle.
“It wasn’t that I wasn’t trying,” Dilfer said. “I didn’t suck. I sucked physically.”
Dilfer also fired a direct shot at his replacement, Elvis Grbac
Trent Dilfer is firing shots, and in his own words, it “doesn’t bother” him to go on the offensive.
While speaking with ESPN, Dilfer had strong words for former Ravens head coach Brian Billick and Dilfer’s replacement, Elvis Grbac.
Dilfer said Billick “didn’t realize” that the Ravens succeeded for reasons beyond coaching or talent.
“The core value of that team was mental and physical toughness, and that’s who I am and that’s the opposite of who Elvis is. They set their identity back light years by getting it wrong.”
Dilfer may have been onto something because Baltimore only won one playoff game for the rest of Billick’s tenure. Baltimore parted ways with Billick after the 2007 season and hired John Harbaugh, who won playoff games in his first five seasons.
The Ravens ended Harbaugh’s fifth campaign with a Super Bowl victory in February 2013.