It's been 20 years since the Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV while Trent Dilfer was under center. But the former Super Bowl winner still has some bitterness over how his time in Baltimore ended.
In a recent feature for ESPN, the former Pro Bowl quarterback admitted that there is "a little bit of bitterness" left for the Ravens. He feels that then head coach Brian Billick made a mistake by evaluating him on his 2000 production since he was playing injured.
“You know, I’ve been through a lot in my life and I try not to be bitter about anything,” Dilfer told ESPN. “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.”
The Ravens let Dilfer go after their Super Bowl win, signing Elvis Grbac to a five-year, $30 million contract in the offseason. But Grbac underwhelmed and was released after one year.
Dilfer said he's not afraid to criticize Grbac. He feels that the Ravens' team identity at the time was "toughness," and believes that Grbac lacked that.
“I’ll take a shot at Elvis because it doesn’t bother me at all,” Dilfer said. “The core value of that team was toughness. And Brian didn’t realize that. It wasn’t their coaching, it wasn’t their talent evaluation. It wasn’t all the things that they think it was. 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 went on to play six more NFL seasons. But he never matched the success he had with the Ravens or Buccaneers.
Meanwhile, the Ravens missed the playoffs in four of their next six seasons after parting with Dilfer.
The Ravens would not return to the Super Bowl until 2012, with Joe Flacco at the helm. They beat the San Francisco 49ers to win their second title in franchise history.