Daniel Jeremiah: Tom Brady Would've Won 10 Super Bowls With Ravens
While everyone was buzzing about Tom Brady's revealing interview on Howard Stern's show, a sound bite regarding the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback on another show also garnered some attention.
When NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah was asked on the "Dan Patrick Show" what question he would ask Brady for "a totally honest answer," Jeremiah replied: "Tom, if you were the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens with their personnel, how many Super Bowls would you have won there?
"I bet you if he told the truth he'd say 10."
Jeremiah, who was a scout with the Ravens from 2003-2006, contended that Baltimore often had a better roster than the New England Patriots, who won six Super Bowls with Brady at the helm.
After rattling off names such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Jamal Lewis, among others, as star players who would've shared a locker room with Brady in Baltimore, Jeremiah said: "I think he would've won 10 Super Bowls. I don't think that's crazy."
Jeremiah's hot take makes for compelling water cooler conversation (not that anybody should be gathering around a water cooler these days), but it's not like there was ever a chance of Brady playing for the Ravens. Or was there?
Reacting to Jeremiah's comments, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer pointed out that then-Ravens Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh pushed for the team to pick Brady in the third round of the 2000 draft.
"If we'd taken him, we probably would've won a couple more championships," Cavanaugh told ESPN in 2017. "But it's not about me. I would've loved working with him, and it's rewarding that I felt I did a good evaluation on him. I just don't puff my chest out when Tom Brady's name comes up. I thought he had the qualities to succeed, but I didn't realize he could turn into what he did."
The Ravens did end up selecting a quarterback in the third round with the 75th pick: Louisville's Chris Redman, who started six games in four seasons in Baltimore. In an interesting twist, Redman was signed by the Patriots in 2005 but did not make the team.
No one can fault the Ravens for not drafting Brady. Six quarterbacks were selected before the Patriots took the former Michigan QB in the sixth round with the 199th pick.
Is Justin Tucker the Best of the Best of the Decade?
While Brady is considered by many to be the NFL's GOAT, The Guardian's Hunter Felt makes the case that Ravens kicker Justin Tucker might be the greatest player of the 2010s. Brady and Tucker were both among the eight unanimous selections for the NFL's All-Decade team.
"Was Tucker a better kicker in the 2010s than Brady was a quarterback or Aaron Donald a defensive lineman? It's certainly not hyperbole to suggest he is the greatest of all-time at his position," Felt wrote. "After all, Tucker is the most accurate kicker in the history of the NFL, one of eight NFL records he owns (and that's before we get to his opera singing career).
"And it's not just that Tucker makes kicks, he makes them when they matter. That may well be why only Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning have earned more Player of the Month awards."
The notion that a kicker – even one as talented as Tucker – could be the best player of the decade undoubtedly will be scoffed at, but it shouldn't be, according to Felt.
"Other than the quarterback, no other player on the roster is more likely to have a game fall on their shoulders during the closing moments," Felt wrote. "There is barely a Sunday that goes by without one game where the outcome comes down to a late field goal. NFL games – heck, entire seasons – regularly come down to a single kick. When a kicker misses in a key spot, there's usually nobody else to blame and their previous successes count for nothing.
" … Job security is rough for everybody in the NFL, where there are few guaranteed contracts, but kickers are probably the most disposable commodity of all. This, appropriately enough, takes us back to Tucker who might just be the exception that proves the rule, a rare kicker who has made himself indispensable."
Kyle Brandt: John Harbaugh Should've Been on All-Decade Team
Speaking of the best players of the decade, we noted in Tuesday's Late for Work that Suggs was one of the biggest snubs from the All-Decade team. "Good Morning Football's" Kyle Brandt said Head Coach John Harbaugh also should've made the team.
The Patriots' Bill Belichick and Seahawks' Pete Carroll were the two coaches named to the team, but Brandt said he'd give Harbaugh the nod over Carroll.
"John Harbaugh of the Ravens has lost three Hall of Fame defensive players in this decade [and] still has a top five defense, four division titles – two at the beginning of the decade and two at the end," Brandt said. "And most importantly, John Harbaugh had the stones and the foresight to draft Lamar Jackson when no one else did and then reshape his entire offense, team and franchise on the fly while sending off a beloved Super Bowl MVP in Joe Flacco. John Harbaugh [deserves] one of the two sports for Coach of the Decade."
Meanwhile, Brandt's colleague, Kay Adams, joined those who said Suggs should've made the All-Decade team.
Patrick Queen Says He Can Be 'That Guy' for Ravens
A number of mock drafts have the Ravens selecting LSU inside linebacker Patrick Queen in the first round. Queen speaks highly of the Ravens and said he sees similarities between them and his college squad.
"It's just a crazy thought because we try the same thing with our team [at LSU] as far as sending blitzes from different directions and [trying] to get the offense off balance and stuff," Queen said on Glenn Clark Radio. "There's no limit to my game. So, I hope if I do end up there, I'll be able to move around and show different looks and be able to be that guy for them."
Beyond the similar defensive schemes, Queen said the Ravens and his LSU team share another trait: passion for the game.
"The whole team itself just has got a lot of passion and that's what I really like about them," Queen said of the Ravens. "That's how we are at LSU. I guess from the past teams, it's just that one word — passion — that I see from [LSU and Baltimore], and that's what I like."
Queen said whichever team drafts him won't be disappointed.
"I'm a playmaker. Whenever there's a play that needs to be made, I'm there to make the play," Queen said. "I'm instinctive and have great football smarts. I can call out plays that are about to happen. I play aggressive. Bigger than what my size (6-foot, 229 pounds) is, and my play speed is off the chart."
- In looking at the quarterback situations for all 32 teams, USA Today's Nate Davis wrote that the Ravens are set at the position, but may want to consider drafting Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts: "Hurts is starting to generate first-round buzz, which would obviously put him out of Baltimore's price range. But if he dips into the latter part of Round 2, where the Ravens have two selections (55th and 60th overall), might be hard to pass on the former Alabama transfer, a potentially perfect fallback behind Jackson in the near term and perhaps a player who could bring back serious draft resources down the road."
- Flacco, who the Ravens drafted out of Delaware, made ESPN's list of "small-college studs" from every NFL team.