Our buddy Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun has been putting together his All-Time Ravens team this week to celebrate the 15 seasons played by the franchise. He has started with the defensive line and linebackers and, as you would expect, there are some great players on the squad.
As we discussed this topic on The Bob Haynie Show, our listeners began to list the names of defensive backs who should belong on Jamison’s team. Names like Chris McAlister, Ed Reed, Rod Woodson, Duane Starks and Samari Rolle have been mentioned. Rightfully so, I might add. However, much to my surprise, another name that keeps popping up is Deion Sanders.
Sanders was a phoenomenal player. Nicknamed Prime Time, Sanders is one of the greatest and most versatile performers in the history of the NFL. Named first-team All-Pro six times, Sanders also sports two Super Bowl rings and was the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. His Hall of Fame resume speaks for itself.
The thing is, Deion accomplished all of those things long before he started wearing a Ravens uniform. Sanders played for Baltimore in 2004 and 2005. I’m not saying this was Prime Time’s fault, but the Ravens didn’t make the playoffs either season. He played 25 games for the team, starting six. Too his credit, he did pick off five passes in two seasons and scored a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills. Not bad for guy who was 37 years old when he signed with the club.
That being said, I’d have a hard time pairing a guy, who was basically a nickleback, next to Chris McAlister on any Ravens list. I think that Rolle or Starks may be more deserving of that honor.
Don’t get me wrong. Deion Sanders could play. He is one of the All-Time greats. He’s just not an All-Time great Baltimore Raven.