An hour later, as he prepared to leave the locker room, Dilfer praised his former and current coaches, saying, " Tony Dungy has had as much of an influence in my getting here as anyone, and Brian Billick has completed the equation. My teammates—man, I love them more than I can say."
In the Network Associates Coliseum parking lot, three dozen friends and family members were waiting to greet Trent with a robust cheer. Cass met him first, just outside the locker room door, and slapped a bear hug on him that encompassed a decade's worth of emotion. Teammates and well-wishers converged to get a piece of him, but he had no intention of breaking free. For the NFL's most amenable bull's-eye, this was the sweetest hit of all.