Say What?

e-mail Pete

Perspective means everything. To start the last two seasons the Ravens openly talked about going to the Super Bowl. How anything less meant failure.

In 2004 Ray Lewis spent 15 minutes with the media during mini-camp discussing how his team was absolutely prepared for a championship. Deion Sanders then joined the fray claiming he wanted another Super Bowl ring and Baltimore was the place to get it done.

In 2005 Brian Billick said this may be the most talented team he’d ever had to coach. Others talked how the Detroit game in week four would be nice so they could get used to Ford Field for Super Bowl XL.

Both of those seasons of course ended with the Ravens playing as many post season games as I did. So naturally, come 2006 the players are a little shy about boldly predicting success. Even as they welcomed their new quarterback, the 2003 co-league MVP many believe can return them to glory, they shied away from smack. Derek Mason insisting today all the noise will come from actions alone.

Everyone except Steve McNair. During his opening remarks this afternoon, McNair mentioned the Super Bowl about five times. And not like, “wouldn’t it be great if somehow we could make it to Miami”. Instead, McNair said he planned on winning “a couple of Super Bowls” during his tenure in Baltimore.

The comments almost seemed silly given the recent history just discussed. There are so many reasons to refute the possibility of a championship for the Ravens. A suspect offensive line, recent chemistry problems, and the advanced age at several positions just to name a few. Planning on a couple of titles, in these eyes, immediately curtailed McNair’s credibility.

After absorbing the day though, his perspective makes sense. In Tennessee he was the only star remaining from their trip to the Super Bowl six years earlier, yet he continued to put up good numbers. In Baltimore he now has veteran Pro Bowler’s across the board, on both sides of the ball. He also claims his best health in years so why not expect it all.

The comments though may ring hollow to fans who have heard the talk without the walk two years in a row. For McNair’s sake, and by all accounts he’s a very decent guy, we’ll hope his perspective proves closer to reality than the cynical nature of a room full of media.

e-mail Pete


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