The Ravens can thank the 28-year-old Dilfer for helping them get off the schneid. An off-season, free-agent pickup who was making his second start in place of the ineffective Tony Banks, Dilfer is a different man from the one who took personally every sling and arrow during his mostly horrid six-year stint with Tampa Bay. On Sunday, after having completed 23 of 34 passes for 244 yards with no interceptions, he sounded the way a quarterback who hasn't accomplished much else in his career should sound: humble. "The one thing I've learned about this league," he said, "is that it's a league of overreaction. People overreact when you win, and they overreact when you lose. I go as hard as I can, and if I fail, I move on. If I succeed, I move on. When Tampa Bay gave up on me after last year, I refused to get overly emotional. I told my wife, 'We'll be fine.' Now I wake up each morning and ask God to help me live this day to the fullest."
On the other side of the locker room, tight end Shannon Sharpe yelled, " Trent Dilfer for president!" Dilfer gave a wry smile as he packed his bag.
Will he finally turn the corner? Who knows? He was already beginning to prepare for this week's game against the Titans.
Bobby Ross Resigns
Lions' Job Just Beat Him Down
The stress of coaching in today's NFL drove one of the most respected men in the business into retirement on Monday. Bobby Ross, who won a national championship at Georgia Tech in 1990 and led the Chargers into the Super Bowl four years later, resigned as coach of the Lions.
Those close to the 63-year-old Ross could see it coming, and the last straw came when his team played sloppily in consecutive losses, to the Colts and the Dolphins. "He's old-school enough to think that's a reflection on him," said defensive coordinator Larry Peccatiello. Assistant head coach Gary Moeller, the former Michigan coach, takes over a 5-4 team that is still in the thick of the NFC playoff race.
Ross, who was not available for comment on Monday, has felt tortured most of the season, and not only because he was working with a blood clot in his leg that forced him to wear panty hose. Sitting in his office in mid-September, he told SI, "When I go into a game now, I prepare myself for three hours of absolute hell. The decision making, the intensity, the competition—it's there every Sunday. I don't remember the last time I could take a breath with five minutes left in a game and say, 'Whew, this one's over.' It never happens."
Ross, however, should not be remembered for walking out on a playoff contender. He should be remembered for his dedication to the game and his players. The man will be missed.
Miami Without Marino
Rushing for The Postseason
A couple of weeks ago the phone rang in the office of Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt. On the other end of the line was the previous occupant of the office, the retired Jimmy Johnson. "You're playing just the way I always wanted to play," Wannstedt recalls Johnson saying.