Wide receiver Torrey Smith, safety Corey Graham and inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe are headed to familiar ground on Feb. 4, when the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
It's a return trip for Smith, Graham and Ellerbe -- all of whom won their first rings with the Baltimore Ravens five years ago.
Smith, Graham and Ellerbe were all starters for the Ravens team that beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, and they have been key supporting players for Philadelphia this season. In Sunday's 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game, Smith scored on a 41-yard reception in the third quarter and Graham intercepted a pass in the final six minutes of regulation to Philadelphia move one step closer to winning a championship.
"It means the world," Smith told the Eagles' website. "That's why you play the game, to be in this position, and for us that was our goal from day one to be in this position," he said. "We believed since day one when no one else believed in us and everyone else kind of jumped on board when we were hot and we were rolling and we lost some key players and folks fell off, but we didn't. Our goal always remained the same, we just continued to work and this is just a product of that."
It's believed Smith chose the Eagles over the Ravens in free agency. This decision appears to be the right one now, because Baltimore has failed to reach the postseason since 2014 and Philadelphia has reeled off two victories this postseason.
Smith contributed with a long touchdown catch on a flea-flicker, which showed he can still be a deep threat in the league. In the regular season, he only had three catches of 25 yards or more, including one over 40 yards. Smith, who was the No. 2 receiver for Baltimore's last championship team, is the third leading receiver for the Eagles behind Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor.
Graham, who was a starting cornerback for the Ravens in 2012, came up with another playoff interception when he picked off Case Keenum at the Eagles' 7-yard line midway through the fourth quarter. Since the 2012 playoffs, Graham has picked off three postseason passes. No one has more in that stretch than Graham.
Ellerbe was inactive for Sunday's game because of a hamstring injury. This is reminiscent of his banged-up time in Baltimore. In 2012, Ellerbe was the third-leading tackler on a defense that finished No. 17 in the NFL.
Two other former Ravens players on the Eagles are defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and defensive end Steven Means. Jernigan, who reportedly got in a pre-game fight Sunday with the Vikings' Everson Griffin, recorded 2.5 sacks in his first season in Baltimore. The Ravens moved up 25 spots in the third round -- from No. 99 to No. 74 overall (which was used on defensive lineman Chris Wormley) -- in exchange for a starting defensive tackle who likely was not going to get re-signed by Baltimore after this season. Like Ellerbe, Means was inactive.
'The other connections are front office ones and include former Ravens scouts Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl. Douglas is a fast-rising executive who is Philadelphia's vice president of player personnel. Weidl is the assistant director of player personnel for the Eagles.