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NFC guest analyst: Sean Salisbury


© St. Petersburg Times, published January 27, 2001

Sean Salisbury, a quarterback at Southern Cal, played largely for the Vikings (1990-94) during his eight-year NFL career. He has been an analyst for ESPN since 1997. Salisbury recently talked to staff writer Brian Landman about the Ravens-Giants matchup.

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I'm sitting on the fence on this. Brian Billick's my friend and former coach (at Minnesota) and I have buddies on both teams, but as a football analyst I'm leaning toward the Ravens.

I think this team feels like it's invincible. I don't think (the Ravens) feel they can lose and they're not asking a whole lot from people other than their 11 guys on defense. The offense doesn't have to go through that pressure of thinking, "Oh. We've got to score 20, we've got to score 30."

For the Giants to win, Kerry Collins has to be MVP. For the Ravens to win, Trent Dilfer does not ... a lot of times, that's what it comes down to.

The Giants' game plan has to be similar to the one against the Vikings. They have to try to post 10, 13 points immediately and then allow their defense to take over. First down is going to be the most important play. If they're in third and 7, it's going to be a long day. The play-action fake goes out the window. If they're in third and 2, they have a chance to dictate the tempo.

They have to attack. It's one thing playing smart and another playing scared. Kerry Collins has to take some chances. It's first and 10 on our own 25, let's test those guys up the seam and see what they're all about.

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