Tag Archive | "Superdome"

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Chapter 20: Sup-Harb Bowl – A Crescent City Crowning for Ravens

Posted on 31 January 2018 by Nestor Aparicio

 

 

 

“We want to win Super Bowls. We want to make history. We want to do things that have never been done in the NFL before. Don’t we all want that in life? Don’t we all have dreams?”

John Harbaugh on WNST.net (March 2008)

 

 

 

 

 

THE NFL ALLOWS THE TWO TEAMS that win their conference championship game an extra week to prepare for the Super Bowl. For the Baltimore Ravens, it was just what the commissioner ordered – a few days to rest and enjoy their monumental accomplishment. Despite the need to prepare to beat the San Francisco 49ers, the Ravens were in dire need of a little time to breathe after what had been a physical and emotional roller coaster over the previous 21 days.

The Ray Lewis Last Ride. Beating the Colts. A new offensive coordinator. New personnel on both sides of the ball over three games. The brutal cold in Denver. The drama in Denver. The miracle in Denver. The emotions of Denver. And then the exorcising of some old demons in Foxborough, beating Tom Brady and overcoming the role of being a huge, road underdog two weeks in a row in the biggest games of their lives. It was indeed time to rest.

Sure, the Ravens were lucky to win in Denver. But statistically, and if not for shoddy coverage on the two Trindon Holliday returns for touchdowns, the Ravens played extremely well on offense and defense at Mile High. But it was in New England, where they fell behind early and took no mercy after halftime, that they showed true championship mettle. The Ravens beat the snot out of the Patriots in the second half on both sides of the ball. Flacco ran the offense up and down the field, and the Ravens defense held Brady scoreless in the second half. “When is the last time that happened at Foxboro?” said center Matt Birk. “Like, never? It’s unbelievable!”

But it was Flacco and the offense that put the pedal down and attacked the banged-up and depleted Patriots defense. “We realized that we just needed to put some pressure on them in that way,” Flacco said after the game in the Gillette Stadium locker room. “In the first half we were probably a little bit run-heavy, and they did a good job of stopping it, and we came out in the second half and decided to go with what we went with. We didn’t come all the way here to play it safe and hope to win. We came here to win the AFC Championship Game, and you have to play to win and you have to do some of those things, and our guys made plays – Anquan [Boldin] came up huge – all of our receivers [and] all of our tight ends, our linemen, everyone came up big when they needed to. We’ve definitely overcome a lot, but I think that – if you look at the Super Bowl winners over the past few years – I’d probably say that we’d have a lot in common with that. It’s about who can get ready and who can become their best at the right time and hit the ground running and that’s what we’re doing.”

The Ravens wouldn’t need to run to New Orleans. Like Fats Domino sang, they could’ve walked or floated with the emotional high they were on after New England.

The Big Easy would be waiting in seven days, and even though the strategy on the field would take a backseat to the Super Bowl media madness and storylines, the Ravens knew they had their hands full with upstart quarterback sensation Colin Kaepernick and his hard-to-mark “Pistol” offense. San Francisco also prided itself on a stingy defense led by a head coach that Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh knew all too well.

And as much as John Harbaugh begged the media to not delve to deeply into this unique story of brother vs. brother, he knew there was no stopping that train.

Let’s just cut that right out,” Harbaugh joked with the media from the podium immediately following the win in Foxborough. “Can we all agree? Just forget about that stuff. We did that last year, OK? It was fine. It got old last year. Did it not? My dad is definitely on board with that. [My parents] don’t take any interviews anyway. He’s in the basement down in Mequon [Wisconsin], and I hope he’s on his fourth or fifth beer

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Amber Theoharis recaps the Ravens huge win in New Orleans

Posted on 25 November 2014 by WNST Staff

Amber Theoharis joined Nestor to recap the Ravens huge win in New Orleans Monday night. The Ravens took advantage of a struggling Saints team to get to 7-4 and stay in good position in the AFC North. They host the Chargers Sunday. CATCH IT HERE.

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More than 5K Ravens fans at 2:52 marching thru streets of New Orleans at Super Bowl 47

Posted on 09 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

You’ve heard about the big WNST-organized 2:52 march through the streets of New Orleans on Super Bowl Sunday. Now, you can witness it here in real time.

First person to get an accurate headcount gets a free Hurricane next time in The Big Easy!

I’m wondering which 10 of these are the only listeners we have at WNST. LOL…

Enjoy the march…and if you spot yourself, throw us a note: nasty@wnst.net.

We’re planning the NOLA March reunion over a beer in the spring!

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Flacco says the confetti is pretty cool

Posted on 04 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

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Perfectly imperfect Ravens show us all they were champions in end

Posted on 04 February 2013 by Luke Jones

NEW ORLEANS — Even after witnessing the most incredible month in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, it’s still difficult to believe it all happened in the hours following their 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII.

The Ravens have had better and more talented teams than this group that finished the regular season with a 10-6 record, good enough to win the AFC North but hardly anything to write home about. The offense and Super Bowl most valuable player Joe Flacco were exceptional at times this season but were maddeningly inconsistent as well. A defense regarded as one of the NFL’s finest for more than a decade was far from dominating due to age and a plethora of injuries, taking a significant step back as stars such as Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis missed significant time.

A three-game losing streak in the month of December that included the firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron left the Ravens looking anything but “super” as they desperately searched for answers. Frankly, it was difficult to decide just how good they were — or even if they were at all.

Yet, there they stood on the on-field stage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after winning the second NFL title in the 17-year history of the franchise. It wasn’t pretty as the Ravens nearly squandered a 22-point second-half lead, but they prevailed, earning the right to call themselves champions.

“It couldn’t end in a better way,” safety Ed Reed said. “The game was a display of the whole year. Started good, got ugly, ended great. Ended great.”

Perhaps the 35-minute power outage was the appropriate symbol of where the Ravens had been over the last six weeks. Just as a 28-6 lead evaporated as the San Francisco 49ers pulled to within two points with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Ravens appeared to be knocked out in December after suffering their third consecutive loss in a humiliating 34-17 final at home against the Denver Broncos in mid-December. At that point, the Ravens looked more like a team that might not win another game before regrouping to make the incredible run to New Orleans.

A 9-2 record that stood among the best in the NFL — even if many questioned the validity of that mark after several underwhelming wins — had fallen to 9-5, with many wondering if the Ravens were bursting at the seams with dissension. However, they stuck together, insisting all their goals still stood in front of them while fans and media alike wondered if they were finished. They were the truest form of a family, at least as close to one as a professional football team could be as players shared their faith and love for one another openly down the final stretch of the season.

“We had a lot of guys injured,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “But at the same time, the camaraderie within that the locker room — this is the closest team I’ve ever been on in my life. Like I said, we came together and fought the good fight.”

Yes, these Ravens were inspired by a returning Lewis in the postseason, but it was the play of Flacco that took them to new heights as the fifth-year quarterback was the best player in the NFL during the playoffs. His play and the improved offensive line after the reinsertion of Bryant McKinnie at the left tackle position were all new offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell needed to propel the Ravens to new heights on that side of the football.

That offense looked as elite as ever in the first half on Sunday night, but the 49ers regrouped in slowing the Ravens’ passing attack while the running game remained a non-factor. Meanwhile, the Baltimore defense wilted, looking tired and lacking answers for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as he led San Francisco to three second-half touchdowns and a field goal.

As they had countless times throughout the season, the Ravens appeared on the ropes with the offense sputtering and Lewis’ once-mighty defense completely exhausted. But as savvy veteran teams often do, the Ravens had enough in them to make a few more plays to finish the job.

With the 49ers having three shots at the end zone from the 5-yard line and trailing 34-29 at the two-minute warning, the old Ravens defense made its final great stand with Lewis at the helm. The unit forced three incompletions to hand the ball back to the Baltimore offense. It was vintage Baltimore defense, even if that idea will take on new meaning beginning next years as the Ravens face life without Lewis leading the way.

The final stand was the end of an era with Lewis retiring and Reed potentially playing his final game with the Ravens. And in the context of this 2012 season, it was the last example of one unit — offense, defense, or special teams — picking up the others in crunch time.

“It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t perfect, but it was us,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The final series of Ray Lewis’ career was a goal-line stand to win the Lombardi Trophy. As Ray said on the podium, how could it be any better than that?”

Harbaugh’s right. It was the only fitting way to end the perfectly imperfect season that included ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and trials and tribulations. Of course, the Ravens ended the year on the highest note of all in winning their first Super Bowl title since Jan. 28, 2001.

In a season in which we constantly asked the real Baltimore Ravens to stand up, we finally learned who they really were over the course of the last six week as Harbaugh and his team dusted themselves off from a miserable stretch in early December to start anew. They knew something the rest of us didn’t as the Ravens pulled off the unlikeliest of wins in Denver, exorcised the demons from a year ago in New England, and polished off their final act as a postseason underdog by turning the lights out — literally and figuratively — on the 49ers.

On Feb. 3, 2013, we finally figured out the only appropriate way to describe this unique football team after a season of struggling to find the proper words.

They were champions.

 

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49ers make final prep for “bright lights” of Superdome

Posted on 02 February 2013 by WNST Staff

NEW ORLEANS— The lights of the Super Bowl appeared a little brighter for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, as the team went through 15 minutes of stretching and playing catch at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The 49ers held their final get-together, a light workout on the eve of Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens, in front of 11 bus loads of family and friends. As the coaches and players walked onto the playing field, one person in the crowd prompted the group to perform the 49ers’ traditional victory cheer. The man shouted, “Who’s got it better than us?” And hundreds of 49ers supporters replied in unison, “Nobody!”

That brought a smile to Harbaugh’s face and he applauded the fans’ efforts. Afterward, the large contingent was invited onto the field to pose for pictures and get autographs. The brief walk-through practice had a football purpose, too.

“We wanted to come over,” Harbaugh said. “And the football part of it is getting used to the lights. They looked a little brighter than the last time we were down here.”

The 49ers played Nov. 25 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a game in which quarterback Colin Kaepernick made his first career road start in a 31-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Harbaugh said he wanted the players to visit the locker room and put on their game cleats to check out the playing surface with “pat-and-go” drills. Harbaugh joined the three quarterbacks in throwing passes to players at all positions.

“Also, wanted to get a stretch, get the blood moving a little bit,” Harbaugh said. “And get some new blood going. Then, afterward, enjoy it with your family. Get some pictures and make it possible for everybody to come down to the Super Bowl field.”

The most popular player on the field was Kaepernick. He was surrounded by a large circle of people seeking photos. Harbaugh said Kaepernick appears to remain unfazed by his new fame.

“I don’t see any change, one way or the other,” Harbaugh said. “He is who he is. He has been pretty steady with his demeanor.”

The 49ers are scheduled for their normal night-before-game routine of meetings at the team hotel, Harbaugh said.

“I feel good,” Harbaugh said. “The preparation has been outstanding, very focused. The players care about winning. They care about this team, and that’s complimentary to the players and the way their focus has been. And that’s not something that’s been just this week. That wasn’t just created this week. That’s been all season and the offseason. It speaks very highly of the players.”

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Ravens create family atmosphere at final walkthrough

Posted on 02 February 2013 by WNST Staff

NEW ORLEANS—Fifteen minutes of football. A lifetime of memories.

That sums up the Baltimore Ravens’ final on-field appearance Saturday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Although footballs were involved, the 15-minute work session inside the Superdome hardly constituted a practice. It more resembled a pep rally and backyard social than a serious walk-through the day before a game.

Approximately 600 family members connected to the Ravens’ organization were on hand to help create a festive atmosphere, including Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore of the Baltimore Colts. Cameras, video cameras and cell phones worked overtime capturing the big picture for posterity.

Running back Ray Rice playfully tackled his mother, Janet, on the sideline. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin went through his paces wearing an Orioles cap. Guard Marshal Yanda sported a a video camera attached to the top of his Ravens’ cap.

Safety Ed Reed concluded the session with the Saturday tradition of leading the entire Ravens team and a few coaches through a few conditioning drills.

Unquestionably, the Ravens are happy, healthy and hungry, not to mention being extremely loose, heading into “The Big Game.”

And that’s exactly how Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh scripted it.

“It’s the kind of foundation of everything we do,” Harbaugh who walked onto the field with his daughter, Alison. “That has been the whole story line of the whole week. In a sense that’s how we did it growing up, when we were kids. We grew up around dad’s teams.

“Most of the time in the NFL it’s not that way. Most of the time there is the separation of families and it’s considered to be a distraction. I just think the opposite. For me, it’s a distraction when people are more worried about their families not being allowed to be a part of it. When the families are included, the kids get to the know the players, and I think guys have a better sense of well being. I think this is a good example of it right here.”

Asked to summarize his team’s work week in New Orleans, Harbaugh said: “The word I would use is effective. We have been very effective. We’ve gotten everything we’ve needed to get done, that’s the No. 1 thing.

“But it what was not without some adversity, which is always a good thing. With all the stuff we’ve been through this year, it just seemed like a minor bump in the road. Nothing you can’t plow right through and make it work. Usually when stuff like that happens it works out better. I think in some ways it worked out better for us. It has benefited us in some way.”

Harbaugh was referring to his team’s initial practice venue in New Orleans, Tulane University, where the Ravens worked only once on a makeshift football field at the school’s baseball stadium.

Ultimately, Harbaugh and his Ravens shared the New Orleans Saints practice facility with brother Jim and his 49ers on Thursday and Friday.

“The league has an obligation and a desire to make sure the competitive playing field is fair,” John Harbaugh said. “I appreciate Jim cooperating with us. He was great about it. We were great with each other about it. Tulane was great about it, and the league was great about it and, ultimately, made it fair for everybody.”

Harbaugh confirmed that the team would remain at their same hotel Saturday night.

“Everybody will be involved in our message tonight (at the team meeting),” Harbaugh said. “That will be us being us. We have great Saturday night meetings. I think the message we deliver will tie together the season, it will tie together where we’ve been and we’ll also make a statement about where we’re going in this 60-minute football game.”

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Gigantic purple march to honor Ray Lewis set for 2:52 p.m. Sunday in New Orleans

Posted on 01 February 2013 by WNST Staff

To honor Ray Lewis and to celebrate the biggest and final game of his 17-year career, we’re hoping you’ll join us at Toulouse and The River in downtown New Orleans and march 17 blocks as a walking tailgate to Super Bowl 47.

Our FREE tailgate party will begin at 10 a.m. There’s plenty of cold beer, drinks, great food and awesome music from legendary Baltimore DJ Bobby Nyk at the edge of Woldenberg Park at the foot of the Mississippi River.

At 2:52 p.m. in Sunday we’ll gather and begin our march to the Superdome by making a left onto Decatur, which becomes N. Peters which becomes Tchoupitoulas and then a right onto Poydras for the long boulevard walk to the Dome and the Super Bowl. We expect to arrive at the Dome about two hours before game time.

Bring your cameras, shoot video and show everyone back in Baltimore the power of the purple flash mob in New Orleans as we support the Ravens and honor Ray Lewis with a block for every one of his 17 seasons in the Charm City and making football great.

Our parade route: we’ll make a left out of Woldenberg Park onto Decatur which becomes N. Peters which becomes Tchoupitoulas and then a right into Poydras, which is a wide-open boulevard that leads to the Superdome.

 

And if you want to know what it looks like when several thousand Baltimore Ravens fans get together in the streets, check out this 2010 video from our Indianapolis purple flash mob and march to their dome:

 

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Complete guide to WNST New Orleans parties here…

Posted on 01 February 2013 by Nestor Aparicio

Clearly, WNST.net is throwing the biggest parties in New Orleans this weekend for the Super Bowl and the amazing fun we all plan to have here in The Big Easy is made even better when you participate and join us for biggest Baltimore Ravens fan celebrations ever.

You can purchase our WNST V.I.P. Super Party wristbands that give you special access at ALL of our parties as well as several bars on Bourbon Street for $115.70 by clicking here: http://wnst.net/brian-billick/buy-our-wnst-super-v-i-p-party-pass-and-soak-up-the-excitement-of-new-orleans/

We have FREE EVENTS every day and you can buy tickets at the door with cash only at all of our ticketed events as well. So, if you’re feeling spontaneous and looking to spend quality, memorable time with Baltimore Ravens fans, this is our schedule of events:

 

FRIDAY NIGHT:

A free event from 6 p.m. til ??? at Empire (located at 300 Decatur) in the French Quarter. This bar is COMPLETELY purple and will be the pickup site for all who purchased WNST V.I.P. Party wristbands for admission to all of our weekend activities. Great food, cold beer and awesome music. This is our “meet and greet” but you’re welcomed and encouraged to party all night with us in the heart of New Orleans. And, yes, the picture here is what Empire looks like on the inside. It’s all purple already!

 

SATURDAY (Two events)

DAY: Our purple pep rally and outdoor cookout begins at noon and is FREE AND OPEN to all Baltimore Ravens fans. WNST partner and Super Bowl-winning head coach Brian Billick will be on hand to meet and greet all of the purple faithful. Come to Toulouse at The River and we’ll be under the green and white pavilion that sits behind Jackson Brewery and the Famous Gumbo Pot. If you can see the giant Houston Oilers-style derrick, you’re almost there. Just walk to the water past Decatur and look for the Steamboat Natchez riverboat! This is also the site of Sunday’s party!

Our cruise on the Steamboat Natchez is a ticketed event and you’re welcome to join us for a delicious jazz lunch and cruise from 2:30 ’til 4:30 on the Mississippi. Boarding begins at 2 p.m. and tickets are $60. For more information is available here: http://wnst.net/top-story/crabs-n-beer/cruise-mississippi-natchez-on-super-saturday-in-nola-with-billick-wnst/

 

NIGHT: Doors open at 7 p.m. at The Howlin’ Wolf for a gigantic Baltimore Ravens fan celebration and concert with New Orleans locals and Grammy Award winning Rebirth Brass Band (show starts at 11 p.m.). Cold beer, great Cajun food and awesome music and dancing all night. This is a ticketed event ($25) and a two-day pass can be purchased for $40 for both big nights at the “purple ground zero” for all Ravens fans in New Orleans here: http://wnst.net/nfl/legendary-howlin-wolf-will-be-purple-ground-zero-for-all-baltimore-ravens-fans-in-nola/

 

SUNDAY (Three events)

Our pre-game tailgate and purple march are ABSOLUTELY FREE AND OPEN TO ALL BALTIMORE RAVENS FANS!!!

Beginning at 10 a.m. on gameday, we’ll have cold beer, drinks, great food and awesome purple music from legendary DJ Bobby Nyk at the foot of Woldenberg Park. Come to Toulouse at The River and we’ll be under the green and white pavilion that sits behind Jackson Brewery and the Famous Gumbo Pot. If you can see the giant Houston Oilers-style derrick, you’re almost there. Just walk to the water past Decatur and look for the Steamboat Natchez riverboat!

The Natchez will serve as a giant bar all day and all Baltimore Ravens fans are welcome to board the boat, dance and drink all afternoon leading up to our big purple stampede up Poydras Street to win the Lombardi Trophy.

There will be five hours of partying before we begin our historic Mardi Gras march to the Superdome at 2:52 p.m. to honor Ray Lewis. All details, maps and information regarding the march are here: http://wnst.net/nfl/gigantic-purple-march-to-honor-ray-lewis-set-for-252-p-m-sunday-in-new-orleans/

If you are NOT going to the Super Bowl and want to watch the game with all Baltimore Ravens fans, you’ll want to head to The Howlin’ Wolf (S. Peters & St. Joseph) in The Warehouse District where the game will be shown on the big screen.

Our post-game celebration will commence at 10 p.m. and this is a TICKETED event with the 8 Ball Brass Band playing the victory party. Advance tickets are $25 but you can purchase a two-day pass for Saturday/Sunday nights concerts here: http://wnst.net/nfl/legendary-howlin-wolf-will-be-purple-ground-zero-for-all-baltimore-ravens-fans-in-nola/

New Orleans never seems to shut down or sleep.

And when the Baltimore Ravens win this Super Bowl title, we expect it to be a long, long night of partying at The Howlin’ Wolf into the wee hours.

 

 

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Jim Harbaugh not sure Superdome experience benefits Kaepernick, 49ers

Posted on 27 January 2013 by WNST Staff

HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH

 

(on the benefits of having Colin Kaepernick making his first road start in the Superdome) “What are the benefits? He’s played in this stadium, just as all our team has. I don’t know how much of an advantage that is. I can’t really put an advantage quota on it.”

 

(on if he tried to keep the routine normal this week before coming to New Orleans) “Not to go into the plan of what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish, we got a good idea. It’s what we’ve done and it’s been successful so far. Our team has been really focused on winning, focused on the unity of the team. I think it’s really genuine. I think it’s the best focus on unity and winning that I’ve ever seen or been a part of. This week, we tried to make it like a normal week, being here on Sunday, in the city starting Monday like it’s a week leading up to a Sunday game is our plan.”

 

(on playing for Coach George Seifert and what he learned) “Quite a bit. It was a real pleasure to work with George Seifert, to get a chance to know him. I didn’t get on the field that year. One of the great things was being able to meet Greg Roman, who was an assistant offensive line coach at the time. I was just so impressed with his knowledge of football and the kind of guy he was. We struck up a very good friendship within the first couple weeks I was there. I made friends right off the bat. Later, getting a chance to work with him was a real great thing for us.”

 

(on if he has spoken to any other Super Bowl coaches to get any insight on how to prepare for Super Bowl week and what the special challenges are being a first time Super Bowl coach) “No real in depth types of things. I had a short conversation with Bill Cowher when he was out interviewing some of our players. I was on a radio show the other day and John Madden was on as well—a couple short comments as well. (The challenge is) that you haven’t done it before. Its uncharted waters for a rookie Super Bowl coach, but that’s exciting too. We have a great thrill and great desire to be in uncharted waters. Our coaches and our players have always relished that and strived in that type of environment.”

 

(on coaching a franchise that has never lost a Super Bowl and his plans for working with the team this week) “There is a great 49er history with our team and we’re proud of that. As far as working during the week, meetings, practices and that will be our focus each day. There will be weight lifting involved tomorrow and meetings and practices.”

 

(on Bill Walsh dressing up as a bell man before his first Super Bowl and if he sees any need to add some levity for his players and if they need anything to ease the pressure) “Dashon Goldson had a quote on our quote board about two and a half weeks ago that ‘We get fresher under pressure.’ That bodes well for us.”

 

(on what he recalls about the 49ers and their dominance in the 80s) “What I remember, I played against some of those teams. As you described, dominant. The organization has a tremendous history and we’re very proud of it. This is new business and our team is focused on winning a championship.”

 

(on how much of himself does he see in Colin Kaepernick in terms of his attitude and passion for the game) “I shared this with some of our beat writers a week and a half ago, but it’s true. It’s a true story. When Colin is running and the stride that he has, the gracefulness with his stride, the ground that he covers, how fast and quick he is reminds me of myself. Then I wake up. But when I dream and have visions of how I run personally, it’s the way Colin runs.”

 

(on how important Trent Baalke has been to the makeup of the team) “Very important. A key integral member. It’s a team effort. We’ve always said that. Everyone does a little and it adds up to be a lot. That’s been our approach.”

 

(on if he has been to a Super Bowl before and if so, what was his experience like) “Yes, I have attended Super Bowls in the past. For example, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago. I was at this Super Bowl in New Orleans when San Francisco played Denver and there might have been one other one along the way. There might have been a couple other ones.”

(on him being a gutsy quarterback when he played in the NFL) “Can you spread the word on that a little? Can you get that out? Try not to keep that to yourself. I appreciate it.”

 

(on whether he ever second-guessed himself after replacing Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick) “Alex had played a lot more than two good games. He had played 26, 28 really good games. I thought it was a unique situation. Viewed it that way when it happened. My experience had always been that when it comes to playing the best quarterback, or playing the quarterback with the hot hand, it was choosing between two guys that were struggling, at least in my own personal experience. That was far from the case that we were looking at at the time. Two quarterbacks that were playing extremely well. Made the decision that we thought was best for our team.”

 

(on whether he will allow Colin Kaepernick to make his own reads or if he will develop specific plays for him and the running game) “First of all, I wouldn’t categorize Colin as a read-option quarterback, for starters. Then, to answer your question, all of those things would be possibilities. We’d love for our opponent to consider them all. Colin is extremely talented at the read-option, he’s extremely talented throwing the football as well. There are a lot of options we could go.”

 

(on whether he considers this week as a distraction to the players) “I think it’s a good thing that we’ve done this, really the last two years. We’ve stayed in a hotel, had our meetings in a hotel and then go to a facility to practice and get ready for the game. Same approach as always, really. Enjoy the moment, enjoy the preparation. I think that’s what our team enjoys the most, the practice, the meetings and especially the competition. Gearing up for the competitive nature of a football game, a championship game. Very excited about it.”

 

(on what led him to decide to stick with most of the players that were there when he was named head coach) “Just watching the tape. One conversation at a time with the players, getting to know them. We realized that we had a lot of character and we had a lot of talent.”

 

(on whether he had talked to his brother about one day meeting in the Super Bowl) “No, not as kids. At Gettysburg, our conversations about facing each other were the November 25th game that we knew was on the schedule, the Thanksgiving game.”

 

(on how much credit he gives Colin Kaepernick for being the difference maker) “It’s been a team effort. Feel like there’s a lot of people that have a lot of fingerprints on this team’s success. Like I said, the team has been focused on the unity of the team and on winning better than any team I’ve ever seen or been around. Really credit that to the men in the locker room. They enjoy each other’s company. They like being around each other and they like competing. They hold themselves to a high standard in terms of that. Colin’s play has been outstanding. He deserves tremendous amount of credit for that. He, like the rest of the guys on the team, are focused on the opportunity to play and win a championship.”

 

(on whether he scheduled all the way up to the Super Bowl when planning in the offseason) “You definitely have a plan. You also have a feel, as well. Really, both of those things were at work.”

 

(on what Patrick Willis has meant to the team) “So much, Patrick Willis means to our team. He’s part of the fabric of the character of the defense and of the team. Very humble person. There are two kinds of people: the people that get the job done, and the people that want to take credit for getting the job done. It’s far less competitive in the second case. Patrick Willis is certainly a get-the-job-done type of guy. That just influences, and the rest of the team feed off of that.”

 

(on why he decided not to play it safe and start Colin Kaepernick) “I described it in my own personality, we did what we thought was best for the team. We did what we thought would give us the best chance to win games. That’s my personality.”

 

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