Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report just unveiled his Mount Rushmore for every team in the NFL. Which four Ravens legends did he include?
The Baltimore Ravens have had some pretty incredible players, so picking four to put on a Ravens style Mount Rushmore isn’t the easiest task. It is a little less complicated picking four players for the Ravens since their history began back in 1996. Still, it’s a task that requires a good bit of debate. Here is what Mr. Gagnon came up with: Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Jonathan Ogden and Terrell Suggs.
It’s hard to argue with these four players. Lewis is going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in a little more than a year. Ogden has already been inducted into Canton’s hallowed hall and Reed and Suggs could join him someday. Lewis is arguably the greatest linebacker of all-time. Reed is in the conversation for the greatest safety of all-time, and Ogden is possibly the best left tackle to ever play the game.
Should Joe Flacco be on the list:
The obvious next player on the list is Joe Flacco. You can certainly make the argument that Flacco should be on the Ravens Mount Rushmore. Here is what Gagnon had to say:
"“You might also think of Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco, who quarterbacked the Ravens during those respective Super Bowl campaigns. But Dilfer was carried by one of the best defenses in NFL history, and Flacco hasn’t done enough outside of that 2012 playoff run to merit inclusion on Mount Ravensmore.”"
I applaud the Bleacher Report author for coining it “Mount Ravensmore,” but I think he’s underselling Flacco’s Super Bowl run. Secondly, nobody was thinking Trent Dilfer belonged up there. Suggs is the fourth best player in Ravens history. You can’t argue the merits of number 55. However, Suggs would still be chasing a Super Bowl ring if it wasn’t for Flacco. Reed would have never won a Super Bowl if not for Flacco.
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Flacco has meant a lot to the Ravens:
In the 2012 playoff run, Flacco had 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He had huge games in every round. Just to get to the big game, he had to outdo Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Then he carved up the San Francisco 49ers defense as if it wasn’t one of the best defenses in the league (but it was).
I once wrote an article explaining why Flacco was one of the most important players in Ravens history. In it, this is the argument that I made:
"“The Super Bowl is the most important part of any great quarterbacks legacy. The problem is that it isn’t always the best way to measure greatness. Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl and Flacco will never touch the realm of greatness that Marino is in. Flacco’s legacy isn’t measured in greatness. It is measured in importance.Without finding a franchise quarterback, some of the greatest Ravens of all time wouldn’t have Super Bowl champion on their resumes. Terrell Suggs, Marshall Yanda and Haloti Ngata are a few examples of this. Other than Ray Lewis, no Raven has been more important than number five.”"
The Bottom Line:
I can’t object to Bleacher Report’s version of the Ravens Mount Rushmore. They picked the four best players. They picked four players who belong in the Hall of Fame. I think the Flacco argument has to at least be heard. It’s more than just the playoff run in 2012. The Ravens went to the playoffs, and won at least one game, in each of Flacco’s first five seasons. He is the only franchise quarterback the Ravens ever had.
The purple and black have had such an incredible history in such a short time. It’s mind boggling to think that their four best players could all end up in Canton Ohio. It’s also quite amazing that we can debate the Mount Rushmore hypothetical at all. That shows you how awesome the franchise has been.