Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Sunday, December 16, 2012
A quiet return to Baltimore for Elway

By Bill Williamson

BALTIMORE -- His duties and the tone of the home crowd will be different for John Elway in just his second trip to Baltimore in an NFL capacity on Sunday.

Elway is the executive vice president of football operations for the 10-3 Denver Broncos as they head into a pivotal AFC game against the Ravens on Sunday. I’m sure the home crowd isn’t too overly concerned about Elway’s presence Sunday.

That wasn’t the case the last time Elway was in Baltimore early in his rookie season in 1983 as the quarterback of the Broncos. The opponent was then the Baltimore Colts and Elway was Public Enemy No. 1 in Charm City.

Elway famously spurned the Colts when he was drafted with the No. 1 pick and essentially forced their hand into trading him. The Broncos won the race to trade for Elway (Al Davis and the Raiders were in hot pursuit as well). As expected, it wasn’t a pleasant day for day Elway as Baltimore fans heartily booed him.

Nearly 30 years have passed. The Colts are gone, as is much of the anti-Elway sentiment in Baltimore. Of course, few Baltimore faithful will be rooting for Elway to be successful in his role as an executive.

-- Meanwhile, the Ravens will have linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has been battling a biceps injury, playing against Denver. Suggs’ presence will be especially important since the team will still be without linebacker and inspirational leader Ray Lewis. The team had hoped to activate Lewis this week, but he'll have to wait another week.

It is overcast in Baltimore. However, the forecast for rain doesn’t call for it to start until after the game.