Reality: On Tuesday, John Harbaugh announced four candidates to be the next Ravens offensive coordinator.
Perception: Ravens coach Jim Hostler, former Redskins coach Kyle Shanahan, and former Lions coach Scott Linehan have all interviewed for the position, as has Steelers running back coach Kirby Wilson.
Hostler led the 49ers offensive for one season with results that were not impressive. Wilson has not been a coordinator but has been an offensive coach for over a dozen years in the NFL. Shanahan and Linehan have led good offenses that were very pass happy. According to Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun, Joe Flacco should loosen up his arm if Linehan gets the job. Under Linehan, Matthew Stafford twice led the league in pass attempts, including an all-time single-season high last year. He likes to run a lot of 3-wide, single running-back sets.
I think I have most of Baltimore in agreement with me when I say “no!” to Hostler. Wilson is an unknown, never having called plays for an NFL team yet. But how would Baltimore react to having a Steelers coach come to the Purple and Black? Still, Wilson is the only one (that I know of) that received a second interview (Ed. Note – just after this was published, Aaron Wilson reported that Kyle Shanhan got a second interview as well). So as much as I’d like to see Shanahan or Linehan get the job, it appears we may be hiring a former terrible towel as our new offensive coordinator. How do you feel about that Baltimore?
Reality: This is a rare Super Bowl matchup.
Perception: We don’t get a chance to see the best team in the NFC vs. the best team in the AFC often in the Super Bowl. Many times it’s the hottest team. But Seattle was the #1 seed in the NFC pretty much all season, while the Broncos were the #1 seed all season in the AFC. The last time the Super Bowl featured two #1 seeds was in 2009 (Saints/Colts), but before that, it was back in 1993 (Cowboys/Bills). It doesn’t happen often, and it’s going to be fun to watch.
With the Broncos making the Super Bowl, they become only the 4th NFL franchise to reach at least 7 Super Bowls, joining Pittsburgh, Dallas, and New England. Broncos head coach John Fox joins only five other coaches in NFL history to take two different teams to the Super Bowl.
The Seattle Seahawks are the 1st Super Bowl team since the 1990 Buffalo Bills without a single player with previous Super Bowl experience (per NFL Network research).
Reality: Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.
Perception: Peyton Manning made his NFL debut on September 6, 1998 (by the way, Russell Wilson was just 9 years old then). You are going to hear an awful lot in the debate about if Manning is the greatest QB to ever play the game. I believe we are very blessed right now to see so many truly great players playing in our generation. Last week’s Manning vs. Brady game was truly one to appreciate between all-time greats. But in my opinion, Peyton Manning is the greatest modern day quarterback, and one of the all-time best, but not THE best. That distinction belongs to Johnny Unitas… he transformed the quarterback position like no one else.