SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- On one side of the room, Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was telling reporters he believed his defense needs to be considered among the all-time greats after Sunday's dominant performance against the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
On the other, Danny Trevathan took things a little further. The Broncos linebacker believes the unit's season-long dominance -- which included suffocating performances against Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Cam Newton in the final three weeks -- moves Denver into rarified air.
"You're going to ask me? No. 1. No. 1 in my opinion, over '85 Bears," he said. "If not No. 1, No. 2. I feel like we did a good job playing our games. It wasn't ever pretty, but when you put it in our defense's hand we always come up with that win."
Not enough can be said about what Denver pulled off at Levi's Stadium. Newton came into the game as the league's MVP, playing the game at a uniquely dominant level. That the once-swaggering Newton left the building a hollowed-out shell speaks volumes.
Trevathan made a special point to praise Phillips. In fact, Trevathan believes his coach should also be viewed through a historical prism.
"For him not to have a job last year, that's bogus man," he said. "This is one of the best defensive coordinators ever."
A reporter asked Phillips what his late father, Bum, would have thought of his defense on Sunday.
"He would be glad we kicked the door in."
They certainly did.