Here's a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Ravens:
• In "honor" of former Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer's retirement, the Sporting News' Steve Greenberg created a list of the worst quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl. Dilfer checks in at No. 2 on the list:
Well, guess what: Trent Dilfer is not the worst quarterback to win a Super Bowl. First of all, there has yet to be a bad -- or even close to bad -- QB to win any of the 42 big games. More important, Dilfer always took more grief than he should have. He had three darn good seasons in Tampa, where he led the Bucs to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years. He came off the bench and won games during a playoff push in Seattle. He played mistake-free ball for the Ravens when that was exactly what they needed from him.
• On the subject of retirement, Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News points out that recent retirees, including former Ravens Steve McNair and Jonathan Ogden, aren't necessarily locks for the Hall of Fame:
McNair took a team to the Super Bowl and was an NFL MVP. Ken Anderson also took a team to the Super Bowl and was an NFL MVP. Anderson went to twice as many Pro Bowls (four) than McNair (two). He also threw for more yards (32,838) and more touchdowns (197) than McNair (31,304 and 174). Anderson has been a finalist twice and been rejected twice.Jonathan Ogden went to 11 Pro Bowls. So did guard Randall McDaniel, who was bounced in his first trip to the finals last February.The latest doesn't always translate into the greatest. Labeling any player a "future Hall of Famer" or "first-ballot Hall of Famer" is a disservice to those who have already earned their way into Canton with those designations.
• Albert Breer of the Sporting News tabs Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither as one of 10 AFC players facing a pivotal training camp.
All Gaither has to do is replace Jonathan Ogden, the first draft pick in club history, a 12-year staple at left tackle, 11-time Pro Bowler and nine-time All-Pro. Gaither (6-9, 350) was taken in the fifth round of the 2007 supplemental draft and possesses rare athleticism for his size. But he is not Ogden and is surrounded by young linemates and, before long, could be protecting a rookie quarterback.
• Pete Prisco of CBS Sports believes this season could be a promising one for Gaither and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Ngata and Gaither rank 2nd and 27th respectively on Prisco's list of 30 potential breakout players for 2008:
Playing on a front seven loaded with really good players, Ngata tends to get overlooked. That won't happen this season. In his second season in 2007 he started to flash star potential. This is the season it happens a lot. He is strong and quick.With the retirement of Jonathan Ogden, Gaither takes over as the starting left tackle. He had two starts last season as a rookie and played pretty well. At 6-9, 350 pounds, he makes Ogden look small. He also has great feet for a man that big. He might struggle at times, but by the midway point he should be a dominant player.
• In his post-minicamp report on the Ravens, ESPN.com's James Walker notes the inexperience and upside of Gaither and the rest of the offensive line:
The Ravens expected Ogden not to return to the team and treated Gaither as the starter all offseason, which has given the second-year player a good head start on the position.Gaither has the look. He's a monster at 6-foot-9, 350 pounds, and he showed flashes as a rookie last season. But he's now the full-time starter protecting the quarterback's blind side, so Baltimore needs more than flash from Gaither in 2008.The offensive line as a whole is young but talented. Linemen Adam Terry, Ben Grubbs, Jason Brown, Chris Chester and Marshal Yanda each have less than five years of experience, but all are versatile and earned extensive playing time early in their careers.
Compiled by Kyle GoonCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun