St. Petersburg Times: Super Bowl XXXV
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Super Bowl XXXV Tampa, Florida 2001
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  • The Road to Super Bowl XXXV

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    Penn St. reunion looming

    By JOHN ROMANO, Times wires

    © St. Petersburg Times, published January 22, 2001

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Kim Herring and Joe Jurevicius are getting together a little ahead of schedule this year.

    Giants quarterback Kerry Collins is ready for the spotlight - his sunglasses are in place as he heads for the team bus. Collins is a Penn State alumnus, too.
    The former Penn State teammates often visit each other in the off-season, but will meet instead on the field this weekend.

    "I roomed with Joe for two years in college and we're still good friends. Our families are real close," Herring said. "Every summer I go to Cleveland and I stay with him at his house."

    Herring missed the AFC Championship Game at Oakland with a muscle pull, but has returned to practice and is expected to start in Super Bowl XXXV. With Herring at safety and Jurevicius getting steady playing time at receiver for New York, their paths are sure to cross.

    "The trash talking ought to be interesting," Herring said. "But we'll still be friends when it's all over."

    Old home week

    If time permits, Trent Dilfer plans to visit his old home near Harbour Island in Tampa. Dilfer and his wife, Cass, had the house built in 1998, but lived in it for only one year before cutting ties with the Bucs.

    Dilfer said his favorite part of the house was his office where he studied game tapes. He said the office had a hand-painted 17th century map on the wall, cherry ceiling beams and a window that overlooked the water.

    "That was our dream house. We felt like we were going to be there a long time. That's what (the Bucs) led me to believe after the Pro Bowl," Dilfer said. "It was the hardest thing to give up."

    Memory lane

    Owner Art Modell said he had 27 messages on his answering machine upon returning home from the AFC Championship Game, but none was as meaningful as Tex Schramm's.

    The former Cowboys team president, Schramm is one of the early leaders of the NFL along with Modell and the late commissioner, Pete Rozelle, and Giants co-owner Wellington Mara.

    "I called him back in the morning and Tex was crying on the phone," Modell said. "He was saying how much Pete would have enjoyed this, a Mara-Modell engagement. That meant a lot to me."

    Return of the fridge

    This might be worth a blowout game. Billick has promised Ravens 340-pound defensive tackle Tony Siragusa that he can play running back if Baltimore is ahead by four touchdowns in the Super Bowl.

    "Could anybody block for him, that's the big question," Billick said.

    Changing times

    When told the Ravens were the first team to reach the Super Bowl with a new quarterback (Dilfer), a new leading receiver (Shannon Sharpe) and a new running back (Jamal Lewis), Billick was not all that impressed.

    "Things aren't what they used to be," Billick said. "The transitory nature of the game means you'll see a lot of old molds broken."

    No worries

    If the Super Bowl lives up to its billing as a defensive struggle, the result could be determined by field position and the kicking game.

    That means Kyle Richardson could be one of Baltimore's most important players. Richardson punts (he had 35 inside the 20 this season after setting an NFL record with 39 last season) and holds on field goals. And if placekicker Matt Stover is injured, Richardson will take care of kickoffs, field goals and conversions.

    "Yeah, but at least I don't have to worry about tickets anymore," he said. "I needed 20, got 15, and that's the way it is."

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