Shannon Sharpe Says Ravens Will Return to Super Bowl in 2017
Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe knows what it takes to win a Super Bowl. He hoisted the Lombardi Trophy twice with the Denver Broncos and once with the Ravens.
When Sharpe looks at the Ravens' roster going into the 2017 season, he believes his old team has the pieces in place to return to Super Bowl glory.
"The AFC representative this year in Super Bowl LII will be the Baltimore Ravens," Sharpe said on a recent episode of Fox Sports 1's Undisputed. "I love what they've done – adding Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman got healthy last year, I love Mike Wallace. I love the addition of Danny Woodhead."
Sharpe made his prediction during a roundtable discussion with Skip Bayless, Terrell Owens and Eric Dickerson, but nobody else at the table seemed to be on board. That's when Sharpe reminded the rest of the group of how well the Ravens have played the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the postseason under Head Coach John Harbaugh.
"Defensively, this is the one team, no matter where they play them, they never bow down to the Patriots," Sharpe said. "They come after [Tom Brady]."
The road to the Super Bowl will likely go through New England, and the Ravens have made that cold playoff trip to Foxboro four times since Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco arrived in 2008. The teams have split those postseason contests, and Sharpe thinks the Ravens will have the edge this year.
Sharpe expects the Ravens to meet the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, just like they did when he was on the team back in 2000. He doesn't make a prediction on who will win it all.
Someone else who knows Baltimore well is former Ravens scout and current NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah. He also believes the Ravens could make a run if they return to the playoffs.
"I don't know that this is a 12, 13-win team, but it can be a 10-win team," Jeremiah said. "And we've seen this team in the past, in 2012, get into the playoffs at 10-6, and all of a sudden your quarterback, Joe Flacco, gets hot and can get on a streak. You don't need Joe Flacco to play great for 16 weeks. You need him to play great for four when you get into the postseason, and he's shown he's capable of doing that."
Count Sharpe among those who think* *Flacco will have a strong season. The additions of Maclin and Woodhead give him valuable weapons, and he's now fully recovered from ACL surgery that hindered him early last season.
"He's two years removed from the knee surgery. He will be even better," Sharpe said. "I love Danny Woodhead. Watch him this year. Watch what Danny Woodhead does in this offense."
Ed Reed Laughs at All-Time Safety Ranking
This is the time of the year when media outlets put together all-time rankings. NFL Media's Gil Brandt did just that by looking at safeties, and former Ravens great Ed Reed had a questionable spot on the list.
Brandt ranked Reed at No. 4 behind Emlen Tunnell (1), Troy Polamalu (2) and Ken Houston (3). Reed couldn't help but laugh when he saw the tweet from the NFL.
"It's understandable why Reed feels slighted," ESPN's Jamison Hensley wrote. "He went to more Pro Bowls than Polamalu. He had more interceptions than Houston. And he had more interception return yards and touchdowns than Tunnell."
Reed holds NFL records for the most career interception return yards (1,590), longest interception return (107 yards) and most career playoff interceptions (nine). He certainly has the resume to be considered the best safety of all time, and he'll have a bronze bust in Canton soon enough. He's eligible to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.
Flacco, Harbaugh Promote Senior Tour Event
Ravens players and coaches are getting in their last few swings on the golf course before returning to Baltimore for training camp in a couple weeks. Those amateur golfers will also have the chance to watch the professionals at work nearby.
The PGA Tour's Senior Players Championship is coming to Baltimore's Caves Valley Golf Club this weekend, and Harbaugh and Flacco are excited about the event.
"Baltimore has the best sports fans in the country, and you're going to want to come out to beautiful Caves Valley and see this major championship," Harbaugh said in the video below. "It's going to be great."
The field of participants includes Kenny Perry, who is a big Ravens fans and just won the U.S. Senior Open. Perry actually visited the Under Armour Performance Center for lunch yesterday.