NEW ORLEANS — Jim and John Harbaugh hardly needed anything else to bring them closer together. But that was the case Thursday.
The Baltimore Ravens moved their practice from Tulane University to the New Orleans Saints’ facility, where the 49ers are also practicing.
Some of the Ravens prompted the move by wishing to practice on grass as opposed to the hard artificial turf at Tulane. It’s not the first time Super Bowl teams have shared a facility, but some extra steps did need to be taken to ensure neither team have views or access to the other’s practice. The Ravens first held a 30-minute walk through at Tulane before boarding buses for a full practice at the Saints’ facility.
While it seems like extra work, John Harbaugh was pleased with the end result.
“I think our players dealt with it great,” he told pool reporter Peter King after the practice. “As Ray [Lewis] just said to me, ‘We work.’ That’s what we do. Our guys don’t flinch at things like this.’”
Contract not an issue: Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s contract is up after this season, but he’s not letting his uncertain future become a distraction leading up to the Super Bowl. While the sides weren’t able to agree to terms before the year, both have expressed a desire for Flacco to return. “It’s real simple,” Flacco said. “We didn’t agree on a number and I didn’t really care to discuss it any further once it got to that point.”
Safety first: John Harbaugh has said throughout the week, that he feels Baltimore and San Francisco possess the best two safety tandems in the NFL. San Francisco’s Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitener were both Pro Bowlers, as was Baltimore’s Ed Reed. The Ravens’ Bernard Pollard is one of the hardest-hitting players in the league. “It would be hard for me to find two groups that are better than these two groups of guys playing together,” he said.
Dent to carry trophy: The NFL announced Richard Dent, who spent one season of his 14-year NFL career with the 49ers, will carry the Lombardi Trophy to the stage and deliver it to Commissioner Roger Goodell after the conclusion of the Super Bowl. Goodell will present the winning team with the trophy.