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NFC guest analyst


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 24, 2001

Jack Youngblood is a former star defensive end at Florida (1968-70) who, after being drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams, earned numerous All-Pro honors during his career (1971-84). Now a consultant to the Arena Football League commissioner, Youngblood is in town and recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about the Super Bowl.

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When you've got two defensive teams that are as good as these are, the team that creates the most turnovers will win. That's what good defenses try to accomplish. They go out and force the issue, take control.

I know that well because I had offenses for years that were very similar to both the Ravens' and the Giants'; they were efficient but they weren't high-scoring.

We went from (Roman) Gabriel (1962-72) to Vince Ferragamo (1977-80, 82-84) to (Dan) Pastorini (1981) to Dieter Brock (in 1985). We had (running backs) Lawrence McCutcheon and then Wendell Tyler and even Eric Dickerson. We were efficient.

So we (the defense) took control.

As far as me making a prediction, it's whoever gets the most turnovers and, from what happened during the season, you'd have to say that favors the Ravens.

They have one legitimate star (Ray Lewis), so to speak, and the other 10 guys play that team concept.

They've bought into the deal, they've figured out that it works and they've gone with it. That's where the confidence comes from.

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