OWINGS MILLS, Md. —
Lewis got to the Super Bowl in his fifth season, then had to wait until his 17th to get back. In between, Modell sold majority ownership of the team to Bisciotti in 2004 and Harbaugh replaced Billick, who was fired after the 2007 season.
Harbaugh on Monday paid homage to Modell, who died in September, and voiced praise for the current owner.
“Art Modell is the foundation, the bulwark of this organization,” Harbaugh said. “He and Steve come from the same place, kind of how they see things.”
Dilfer, meanwhile, was released within months of his solid performance in the Super Bowl. He was replaced by Elvis Grbac, who played one season before retiring. The Ravens then went through a half-dozen starting quarterbacks, including Anthony Wright, Chris Redman, Kyle Boller and Steve McNair, before drafting Flacco in the first round of the 2008 draft.
Flacco took over as a rookie in the season opener and has started every game since.
One day after throwing three touchdown passes and outplaying New England quarterback Tom Brady, Flacco couldn’t fully comprehend the enormity of going to the Super Bowl.
“I think we’re still on a little bit of a high from the game,” Flacco said. “I don’t know if anybody quite believes it yet, but it’s pretty real.”
Blanking New England 21-0 in the second half? Beating Brady and the second-seed Patriots after knocking off the top-seeded Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning? It was almost as if the Ravens needed to pinch themselves.
“I’m just kind of numb to the whole thing,” Birk said. “Slowly, it’s coming though. Hopefully, I guess you realize the moment and appreciate it, but then obviously get to work.”
This year’s team went 10-6 in the regular season. Not bad, but Baltimore had a better record in 2006 (13-3), 2008 (11-5) and 2010 (12-4) and 2011 (12-4). The Ravens reached the AFC title game in 2008 and 2011 before finally getting it right on Sunday night.