Trent Dilfer was one of the main stars of ESPN's recent documentary on the 2000 Ravens' Super Bowl-winning team.
In the documentary, the former Ravens' starting quarterback revealed that then-Titans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams stole his playbook ahead of the two teams' divisional round playoff matchup. Dilfer further made headlines when discussing the modern day quarterback. He specifically mentioned two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks during his diatribe.
"The modern day game does not impress me," Dilfer said. "It's super easy when you don't get hit as a quarterback, and when you can't re-route receivers, and when you can't hit guys across the middle.
"I love Tom Brady, I love Aaron Rodgers. I love these guys. It's not impressive. What's impressive is what they did."
They is the Ravens' defense, a unit that wreaked havoc on opposite quarterbacks throughout that championship season. Led by future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Rod Woodson, Baltimore's defense allowed the fewest points in league history for a 16-game season. They then allowed just 16 points in four playoff games. Baltimore's defense outscored the Giants' offense, 6-0, during the Ravens' blowout win in Super Bowl XXXV.
Before you write Dilfer off as a bitter former player, there is merit to his take on today's quarterbacks. Because of the rule changes, specifically the ones protecting quarterbacks, throwing for 4,000 yards in a season is considered commonplace. Conversely, a 3,000-yard season was considered the benchmark during Dilfer's era, an era when quarterbacks were less protected by the zebras. Just because players throw for more yards today does not mean that they are necessarily better than quarterbacks from prior eras.
That being said, Brady and Rodgers' achievements as quarterbacks should not be tainted because they played in a safer era. The same can be said of Hall of Fame quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach, who played in the run-heavy era of the 1970s. Statistics can help tell the story, but it shouldn't be the entire story when judging quarterbacks and their place in history.
Dilfer's point is valid, but many would agree that the game is in a better place now with more rules in place to protect quarterbacks.
Unless you're a defensive player, of course.